She has accused the governor of saying ‘ridiculous things’ in an attempt to brush over the deaths and not using the resources made available to him.
Donna Johnson, who lost both her parents last year after they contracted COVID-19 while in long-term care facilities, claims that she witnessed nurses in her dad’s care home wearing garbage bags and says that the last thing her mother said to her was, ‘Donna I’m scared’.
‘I’d like to ask Governor Cuomo how would he feel if he had to live every day with the last words from his mother, “Andrew, I’m scared”,’ she said to Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday.
It comes as a new poll reveals that 41 percent of New Yorkers believe Cuomo has done something unethical—but not illegal—in his handling of the data regarding the deaths in the state’s nursing homes.
Only 27 percent believe that Cuomo is not guilty of any wrongdoing, according to the Marist College Poll released Tuesday.
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Donna Johnson slammed New York Governor Cuomo over his handling of COVID-19 deaths in the state’s nursing homes in a Fox News appearance on Tuesday, as pictured above
Johnson has accused Cuomo (pictured above on Monday) of saying ‘ridiculous things’ in an attempt to brush over the deaths and not using the resources made available to him.
A new poll reveals that 41 percent of New Yorkers believe Cuomo has done something unethical—but not illegal—in his handling of the data regarding the deaths in the state’s nursing homes. Another 19 percent believe he has done something illegal
‘Our governor gets on TV and says such ridiculous things,’ Johnson said as she spoke about her heartbreak on the sudden death of her parents.
Johnson said that her father Michael was the first to fall ill in March last year when he was staying in a nursing home rehabilitation facility that was locked down due to the pandemic.
She said the plan was for him ‘to get a little healthier and go join my mom in the assisted living’ facility where she was staying.
However, one morning her brother received a call to say that their father was unwell, and he died within hours.
‘I don’t believe the call led us to believe he was in grave danger and it was only just a few hours later that he received the next call that my dad had passed away,’ she said.
‘Having COVID didn’t even cross our minds and we learned that my dad had COVID when the funeral director received the death certificate.’
Her mother Dee died in hospital shortly afterward after being transferred from her home and testing positive for the virus. Johnson said that she ‘progressively got worse’ once being taken to the hospital.
‘I think the latest thing that has me so saddened is when he talks about nursing home patients, he acts like you go to a nursing home and you die, big deal,’ she hit out at Cuomo.
‘You don’t go to a nursing home and die. It is people’s homes.’
Donna Johnson lost both her parents last year after they contracted COVID-19 while in long-term care facilities. They are pictured above in an undated family photo
Michael and Dolores ‘Dee’ Newman died from COVID-19 in spring last year
Dee Newman is pictured above right with Janice Dean’s husband Sean
She was referring to Cuomo’s alleged statements in which he asked, ‘Who cares?’ when asked about the true number of nursing home deaths.
‘People died.”‘I was in a hospital, I got transferred to a nursing home, and my father died”. “My father was in a nursing home, got transferred to a hospital, my father died.” People died,’ he said in a press briefing.
‘But who cares? 33 [percent]. 28 [percent]. Died in a hospital. Died in a nursing home,’ Cuomo added ‘They died.’
Johnson also hit Cuomo with allegations that he did not correctly use the resources available to him when he signed a March order that allowed nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients back to their facilities.
Donna Johnson said the last words her mother, pictured right, said was ‘I’m scared’. Her mother is pictured above with son Sean
Cuomo has said that the order followed CDC guidelines and that it was needed to free up space in the state’s struggling hospitals yet families have argued it exposed their loved ones and caused further deaths.
‘I would like to know why he didn’t use the tools that President Trump gave him,’ Johnson said.
‘He asked for the ship. He had the ship. It laid there empty. He had the Javits Center, it laid there empty.
‘Why didn’t you use these facilities? I would just like to know why? What made you sign this mandate to send COVID infected patients to facilities that were not equipped?
‘What kind of PPE [personal protective equipment] is that?’ she added, after claiming that staff in her father’s facility were ‘wearing garbage bags’.
Dean has also spoken out about her parent-in-laws’ deaths and claimed that they were ‘robbed’ of their 60th wedding anniversary by Cuomo’s nursing home policies.
‘I’m so certain my parents are so proud of her,’ Johnson said of Dean.
‘My parents weren’t the type of people that would want their face to be on TV and they wouldn’t want the attention, but on the other hand to that, my dad always taught us to always stick up for yourself and to stick up for people who can’t stick up for themselves.’
Cuomo has seen his support fading as more and more people speak out about the nursing home deaths scandal and local lawmakers turn their backs on the governor.
The Marist College Poll released on Tuesday showed that 19 percent of New Yorkers believe he has done something illegal.
The poll was conducted last week after the governor was hit with another wave of backlash over the scandal.
It showed the favorable opinion of his handling of the pandemic dropping from a massive 72 percent in July to 54 percent last week.
The number of New Yorkers who believe Cuomo is a good leader fell to 55 percent
The number who believe he represents all of the state is also falling, as pictured
Positive reviews of his job performance had also dropped dramatically since the summer, falling from 66 percent to 49 percent.
In total 28 percent do not disapprove of his job performance, while 43 percent believe he is doing a good or excellent job.
New Yorkers also remain uncertain about reelecting him, with 36 percent saying they would grant him a fourth term.
‘Cuomo’s approval rating, which was sky high in the summer, has returned to its pre-pandemic level,’ said Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist Poll.
‘Should Cuomo decide to seek a fourth term, these results suggest it will be a challenge. That said, his current numbers are comparable to what they were when he faced the voters last time.’
The governor and his office have been accused of intentionally misreporting the number of COVID-19 deaths linked to nursing homes by not listing patients who were transferred to hospital and died there.
Cuomo has claimed that his office was always honest about the figures but that it came down to differences in categorization.
Gov. Cuomo has continued to defend his admininstration despite the backlash
His office was forced to admit last month that nursing home deaths were much higher than previously reported after New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a scathing report.
James chastised the Cuomo administration for minimizing the death toll at nursing homes by excluding certain fatalities from the count.
Shortly afterward, the Department of Health also revealed that an additional 3,829 residents died after being transferred to hospitals, which is about 40 percent more deaths than had previously been counted.
It meant that the governor’s office has revealed that there were 15,000 nursing home deaths, almost double the 8,500 first reported.
The scandal reached new heights two weeks ago after the New York Post reported that a top Cuomo aide admitted to Democratic state legislatures that the governor’s administration had kept the numbers back for fear they would be used as a political tool for Trump.
Yet Cuomo still ferociously defends his administration, claiming he supports their course of actions and only apologizing for not making information available sooner.
On Monday, Republicans in the state legislature moved forward with attempts to strip the governor of his emergency powers.
The Eastern District of New York has also launched a federal investigation into the case.
Cuomo has not said whether he or any members of his office have been subpoenaed in connection with ongoing investigations into how the administration handled nursing home care during the pandemic.
He said on Monday that they have been complying with request for information since August amid the mounting scrutiny.