Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be impeached over the nursing home scandal that saw state officials intentionally obscure the extent of the coronavirus’ death toll on the facilities, frequent critic and state Assemblyman Ron Kim wrote in an opinion piece published Monday.
The Democrat-on-Democrat broadside came less than a week after Kim, of Queens, alleged that Cuomo called him while at home, threatening to “destroy” his political career unless he helped mitigate damage from the ballooning scandal.
“It is time to be brave, to hold him accountable, to investigate his cover-up of nursing home information,” wrote Kim — whose uncle’s death in a New York City nursing home is suspected to be tied to the pandemic — in the piece for Newsweek.
“It is time to undo the bad policies that led to unnecessary deaths. And it is time to start the impeachment process,” Kim wrote.
The latest layer of the long-simmering scandal came to light earlier this month when The Post exclusively reported that top Cuomo aide Melissa De Rosa, in a conference call with Democratic state lawmakers, acknowledged the administration covered up the extent of the nursing home death toll because they feared a probe by the administration of now-former President Donald Trump.
Kim, who participated in the the Feb. 10 meeting, said Cuomo asked him to draft a statement “to say that Melissa DeRosa said there was a federal investigation and they had to deal with that first.” He refused.
Kim is also one of nine Assembly members who accused Cuomo of engaging in “obstruction of justice” over withholding the true tally of nursing home residents killed by COVID-19. The governor has denied the claim.
Asked what pushed him to call for impeachment, the assemblyman said Cuomo’s actions and behavior are beyond the pale.
“This is no longer about Cuomo. It’s about protecting the sanctity and integrity of the legislative bodies against an executive who is trying every day to rope us into his lies and cover-ups involving 15,000 families who lost loved ones in nursing homes,” Kim told The Post.
In the column, Kim said an infamous March 25 state Heath Department directive forcing nursing homes to take recovering COVID-19 positive patients discharged from hospitals led to “the spread of the disease among New York’s most vulnerable population.”
“And then, to cover his tracks, the governor may have obstructed justice by suppressing life and death data from the Department of Justice; his office underestimated the number of nursing home deaths by up to fifty percent,” he said, referring to the findings of a withering investigative report issued by state Attorney General Letitia James.
The lawmaker also referred to Cuomo’s bullying behavior and deflecting responsibility to others “when the public gets too close to learning the truth.”
“I call this Cuomo’s Predatory Inclusion Syndrome. And I won’t be party to it,” Kim said.
“I witnessed a crime, and on top of that, 15,000 nursing home residents died under his watch. Restoring faith in government for those families is my top and only priority, not the governor’s PR image.”
Cuomo’s office had no immediate comment.