NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fighting for is his political life, Gov. Andrew Cuomo held an emotional press conference Monday claiming there was no cover-up of information regarding nursing home deaths.
Instead, he took responsibility for what he called an information “void,” which created skepticism, cynicism and anxiety for those who lost loved ones, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
WATCH: Gov. Cuomo’s COVID-19 Press Conference
Cuomo fought back calls for his impeachment, removal or recall with an emotional defense in which he tried to explain to people whose loved ones died in nursing homes that he did nothing to hurt them.
The governor said he prioritized getting information to the federal Department of Justice instead of to the state Legislature and the public and that lack of information created the void.
“The void allowed misinformation and conspiracy and now people are left with the thought of did my loved one have to die?” Cuomo said. “I want everyone to know everything was done, everything was done, by the best minds in the best interest.”
Cuomo peppered his remarks with painful memories of his father’s death and accepted blame for helping to create anxiety for those who lost loved ones.
“I take responsibility for creating the void that allowed the misinformation. I just want to make sure people know these are the facts, these are the facts, Everything that could have been done was done,” Cuomo said.
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The governor went through a long presentation in which he tried to explain that people in nursing homes were among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.
One of his most emotional comments was his defense of the decisions made by Zucker.
“I would trust Dr. Zucker with my mother’s care. That’s why I trust him with your mother’s care,” Cuomo said.
The governor’s critics weren’t buying it.
Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said the governor “continues to shift the blame anywhere but upon himself and his top officials.”
Baruch College professor David Birdsell said Cuomo did well.
“He had a very strong performance taking on a very difficult situation, using clear information relatable to the general public and took personal responsibility,” Birdsell said.
Kramer asked the governor if Attorney General Letitia James should investigate him and he said there was nothing to investigate.