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Gov. Cuomo defends handling of COVID-19, blames politics for nursing home deaths

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On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) defended his handling of the nursing homes, instead blaming politics for the scandal heating up after The New York Post’s exposé that his top aide said that officials withheld data about nursing home COVID-19 deaths amid a federal probe, according to The Post.

“This past year, there is a toxic political environment and everything is political,” Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing, in which he ignored the admissions made by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, per The Post.

“New York was ground zero for Covid, and nursing homes were and still are ground zero for Covid,” Cuomo also said.

RELATED: Poll: 40% of New Yorkers support recalling Gov. Cuomo

“This past year there is a toxic political environment and everything gets politicized,” he added, saying that “[t]here is political spin and there are facts.”

The governor also rebuffed a bipartisan move to strip him of his COVID-19 emergency powers in the wake of DeRosa’s remarks, according to The Post.

RELATED: Lawmakers call for Gov. Cuomo’s removal following aide’s reported nursing home data confession

“Emergency powers have nothing to do with nursing homes,” Cuomo argued, saying that state lawmakers “can reverse any action I take.”

“They have never reversed a single action,” Cuomo said. “These are public health decisions, not local political decisions.”

In a Wednesday night conference call to Democratic lawmakers, DeRosa said: “Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.”

During the conference call, she also admitted that “basically, we froze” over months of being pressed by not only U.S. Department of Justice and the state legislature but also reporters and activists about the real death toll from nursing home deaths because of the coronavirus, which Cuomo ignored at the Monday press briefing, according to The Post.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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ukraine tanks scaled

Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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