Over the weekend, mourners gathered outside of a Brooklyn nursing home to hold a memorial for their loved ones nearly one year after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued his infamous order forcing facilities dedicated to housing the elderly to take in patients who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Democratic State Assemblyman Ron Kim, whose uncle died in a New York nursing home after showing coronavirus symptoms, gave a speech at the “We Care Memorial Wall” on Sunday, and he held nothing back when it came to blasting Cuomo.
Kim had previously claimed that Cuomo had threatened to have him “destroyed” after he refused to go along with the Democratic governor’s explanation for why the data on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes was kept from state lawmakers.
“When I got that call from Governor Cuomo threatening me and my career ‒ my livelihood ‒ to lie for him, I wasn’t scared of his bully tactics but I was afraid that he would escape accountability,” Kim said at the memorial on Sunday, according to Fox News. “That is why I pushed back.”
Kim went on to say that he did not want to focus on himself, and instead just wanted to get the truth out to the people of New York.
“This is about decent human beings coming together taking on the most powerful politician in the state of New York because together decency will win,” he said. “And together we will get to the truth. And that’s why I know–I know that this governor will be held accountable, that I know that his reign of abusive power will end soon. Because there are way too many decent people in the city of New York to let this guy go unchecked.”
Not stopping there, Kim railed against “ageism” in society, citing one of Cuomo’s own responses to criticism over nursing home deaths, when he said back in January that it did not matter where people died.
“Who cares 33 [%], 28 [%] died in a hospital, died in a nursing home? They died,” Cuomo said at the time.
“Who in their right mind can go into a press conference and say ‘Who cares where they died?’” Kim said at the memorial. “Who talks like that about older adults?”
“A coward. An abuser. Someone who abuses their power would say that,” Kim said, answering his own question.