Sunday, December 24, 2023

Government Reform Groups Back State Ethics Panel in Cuomo Lawsuit: ‘Protecting his $5M book deal’; Howard Zucker to Testify on New York’s Disastrous COVID Response in Front of House Committee, and other C-Virus related stories

Government reform groups back state ethics panel in Cuomo lawsuit: ‘Protecting his $5M book deal’:
A slough of government reform groups are siding with New York’s ethics commission as it fights off a legal attack from former Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeking to scrap the panel.
Common Cause New York, the New York Public Interest Group, Reinvent Albany, and the New York City Bar Association among others argue that the new ethics commission is constitutional and should be allowed to continue its work.
“The litigation brought by former Gov. Cuomo is about protecting his $5 million book deal,” NYPIRG Executive Director Blair Horner told the Post. “Yet, if the judge’s decision stands, no future governor could ever agree to an independent selection process. New Yorkers need more independence for political appointees, not less.”
The Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG) was ordered by a lower court judge to cease investigations earlier this year as the court assessed whether the 2021 law creating the new panel in its entirety is constitutional.
Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought the case, in part to stop COELIG from continuing an investigation into a decision to approve his pandemic-era memoir, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) had ordered Cuomo to return $5 million in proceeds from the memoir, but a separate court reversed that last year.
In that ruling, the judge left the door open for COELIG to pick the case back up. --->READ MORE HERE
Howard Zucker to testify on New York’s disastrous COVID response in front of House committee:
Former state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker will be hauled in front of Congress next week to answer questions about the state’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Zucker will sit Monday for a closed-door, transcribed interview with members of the House’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.
As former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health czar, Zucker was responsible for a March 2020 order which forced Empire State nursing homes to accept coronavirus-positive residents returning from hospitals.
Zucker also forbade nursing homes from testing the returning residents for the virus.
The virus was especially deadly for the elderly, and the order potentially caused 1,000 additional nursing-home deaths, according to an analysis from The Empire Center, a conservative-leaning think tank.
“Howard Zucker had a role in crafting that policy for Governor Cuomo,” said Staten Island GOP Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, the only New Yorker on the committee. “We want to know what he knows in terms of what led to the [order] and why — when they had alternative options such the US Navy Comfort ship and South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island — they continued to mandate these nursing homes take COVID patients. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

House panel demands info from former top Cuomo aide on nursing home deaths

Do you need RSV vaccine, flu shot or COVID booster? How to sort through vaccination noise

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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