New York lawmakers from both parties are working to strip Gov. Andrew Cuomo of his emergency authority to issue unilateral directives to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, which is due to expire at the end of April.
State Sen. John Liu, one of 14 Democrats in the upper chamber of New York’s state legislature who support the move, told “Your World” Monday that Cuomo’s emergency powers “seem to have outlived their usefulness.”
“We granted him those powers at a time when we knew nothing about this pandemic and the extreme hardship and death that it would wreak on our state, our country and the world,” Liu told host Gerry Baker. “Almost a year later, we now have much more information about COVID-19.”
Liu also discussed revelations that the Cuomo administration deliberately withheld data on the number of deaths from COVID-19 among nursing home residents.
JOHN LIU: I’ve spoken with my fellow senators in New York, and what we’re looking to do is inspire public confidence, especially at a time when we’re trying to get the vast bulk of our population vaccinated, and these revelations just don’t add to that. They don’t add to the confidence.
So the status quo cannot be allowed to remain. We need to make some kind of change, and that change immediately needs to be a revocation of some of those emergency powers that were granted in a time when there was a huge amount of uncertainty and a horrific rise in infection and number of deaths … the governor will still have a great deal of power, but he doesn’t need to have the carte blanche that that he has had this past year.
We’ve been asking the executive branch, the governor, for information. That was not information we wanted out of caprice or whim, it was information that our constituents were demanding of state government. As their representative to state government, we needed to provide that information. We needed to have that information …
The governor says there was a federal investigation. They didn’t want to get involved in the politics with Trump. That’s fine, but that still does not account for the months of stonewalling and delay. And to this day, they still don’t seem to be forthcoming with the information.