NEW YORK — State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, chairman of the state Senate’s Health Committee, weighed in on the growing controversy over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic in nursing homes.

During a Friday interview with anchor Errol Louis on Inside City Hall, Rivera said that he has long opposed the emergency powers granted to the governor last year because he believes that the executive office has the authority to be able to take care of the crisis without extraordinary powers.

The Bronx lawmaker also said that if the Cuomo administration had provided accurate data regarding the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in nursing homes, the state legislature would have been able to advance legislation to protect the residents of these facilities earlier.

“Obviously they had this information, when you consider that the attorney general put out the report and within hours the numbers magically appeared,” Rivera said. “It kind of suggests that they had this information all along and they just did not want to release it to make sure the governor would look better.”

Commenting on the alleged threatening phone call that Cuomo gave to Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim over his criticism regarding the nursing home issue, Rivera said that he has heard “dozens and dozens of versions of this story.”

“This is the way the governor does business,” he said. “I remember it was one of his staffers early on in his tenure, Mr. Cohen, who said, ‘There is two speeds that we do here: Get along and kill.’”


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Watch the full interview above.


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