[guest post by Dana]
Here are a few news items to chew over. Feel free to share anything that you think would interest readers. Please include links.
First news item
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is calling for a full investigation of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) handling of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes.
The New York Democrat in an emailed press release on Friday joined other officials in calling for an investigation into how Cuomo’s administration handled coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes.
“I support our state’s return to co-equal governance and stand with our local officials calling for a full investigation of the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during COVID-19,” the statement said. “Thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers lost their lives in nursing homes throughout the pandemic. Their loved ones and the public deserve answers and transparency from their elected leadership, and the Secretary to the Governor’s remarks warrant a full investigation,” the statement read.
P.S. AOC has helped raise $2 million to help residents of Texas. You can read about her fundraiser here.
Organizations that will benefit from her efforts are: Southeast Texas Food Bank, Family Eldercare, Houston Food Bank, South Texas Food Bank, Feeding Texas, Corazon Ministries, North Texas Food Bank, The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Food Bank of West Central Texas, ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness Coalition), and Central Texas Food Bank.
Second news item
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he should have been more “aggressive” in calling out reporters and politicians for “lying” about his handling of Covid-19 deaths among long-term care residents.
Cuomo, who’s been accused of covering up the true scope of the death toll among the vulnerable population, said during a news conference Friday that he didn’t combat the “misinformation” about the situation enough and it hurt New Yorkers who lost loved ones.
“I did not aggressively enough — we did not aggressively enough, take on the misinformation that caused people pain and, of course, pain for grieving families and that’s what I regret, I’m not going to make that mistake again. If you’re lying to the people of the State of New York, I’m going to call it out. If you are lying in a report, I’m going to call it out. If you’re lying in a newspaper because you have your own partisan agenda, I’m going to call it out,” the governor said.
P.S. Meanwhile, the DOJ is reportedly investigating whether Gov. Cuomo manipulated data in COVID-19 nursing home deaths.
Third news item
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said Friday he will oppose Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget, imperiling the prospects of a high-profile nominee of President Joe Biden.
“I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others,” Manchin said in a statement.
“I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget,” he said. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”
Without Manchin’s vote, she will need some GOP support to secure the majority needed for confirmation, which is uncertain given her history on social media of harsh criticism of prominent conservatives. She said during her confirmation hearings that she regrets her past tweets.
Biden has said he will not withdraw her name, and that he believes the votes will be there.
Fourth news item
Sen. Mike Lee is defending Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. Although Lee disagrees with Romney’s conclusion, he does not see it as a “cause for alarm.”
“Although Senator Romney and I usually vote together — and with a majority of Senate Republicans, we voted differently,” said the statement from Lee issued through his 2022 reelection campaign. “It shows neither one of us blindly defers to anyone.”
Lee flatly disagreed with the calls to punish Romney for his vote.
“While Senator Romney and I sometimes reach different conclusions, there is enough room in the Republican tent for both of us — just as there is room enough for all Republicans in a general election, regardless of how they voted in the primary,” read Lee’s statement.
Here is where Mike Lee has positioned himself in the Republican tent:
Fifth news item
Now more than ever we are feeling the pressure to return to physical schools before we have the necessary conditions and measures in place to ensure the safety of everyone. And the *pressure is coming from all sides — from the media, the Chamber of Commerce, threats of lawsuits by city council-members, Governor Newsom, and county supervisors.
Local and state officials did not help create the right conditions to re-open schools for in-person instruction and educators are being targeted for trying to protect our students and our communities.
Sooner rather than later, there could be legislation or another lever that will set an arbitrary date to physically reopen schools — a reopen date **not set by science or in consultation with classroom practitioners. We could face a time when elected officials simply say, “Time to go back.”
On Wednesday, more than 900 UTLA Chapter Leaders voted overwhelmingly, 93% to 7%, to organize around a refusal to return for a full or hybrid physical reopening of schools until these safety conditions are met:
One, LA County is out of the purple tier
Two, All staff are either fully vaccinated or provided access to full vaccination
And three, Safety conditions are in place in our schools, such as PPE, social distancing, ventilation and a cleaning regimen
Sixth news item
Dear Media: A sitting senator who cruzes out of the country to warmer climes while his state’s residents are mired in a deep freeze of misery and loss has got it coming to him. But his wife and children should be left alone. They weren’t elected to office. So stop following them, and publishing their photos to shame them online.
The sky has been showing off lately:
Have a great weekend.