Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, who was in office during then-Gov. George Pataki's first term, said on Newsmax Tuesday she was "very surprised" by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement that he is resigning.
However, both she and Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., appearing together on Newsmax's "John Bachman Now," agreed that the investigation must go on into the nursing home deaths that happened early in the COVID pandemic.
"I had predicted that he would hang on as long as possible and that Carl Heastie, the head of the assembly would slow-walk impeachment proceedings because so many members of the assembly are dependent on favors and the goodwill of the governor for projects in their own districts," McCaughey, a Newsmax contributor, said.
Her comments came after Cuomo, facing the growing likelihood of impeachment over sexual harassment accusations from several female state employees and staffers, announced his resignation.
"Nevertheless it's happened and I believe (Lt. Gov.) Kathy Hochul will well prepared to take the reins of government in the interim until New Yorkers have their big choice next year whether to elect a Republican administration and opt for more growth and lower taxes," McCaughey added.
Meanwhile, Van Drew commented that even with Cuomo's decision, he still hopes that the investigation will continue into the deaths of several people in New York's nursing homes in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he doesn't know if he has "total confidence" that will happen.
"That was just unacceptable, when we speak about COVID and to find that in New Jersey and New York that literally these much older people were crammed into nursing homes," said Van Drew. "The government killed people."
Change is needed in both New York and New Jersey, he added.
"We really do need to get some Republicans and I would even say to my friends who are Democrats or are independent, give it a chance. Give it a shot," said Van Drew. "Let's see what somebody else can do. You can do better."
McCaughey said she was "very disappointed" that the Justice Department under President Joe Biden dropped the nursing home investigations, even though other law enforcement agencies are continuing to examine the matter.
"It was very unfortunate that the Justice Department did not consider this issue worthy of its attention when tens of thousands of elderly in nursing homes in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania died because of the foolish approach taken," she said.
Van Drew added that if Cuomo was a Republican, the investigation wouldn't have been dropped but would continue "on and on."
"This is one of the worst things that have happened, and yet, in all honesty, Democrats have pushed investigations for long periods of time on almost nothing," he added. "Yet here, where there's a loss of life and the wrong thing was really done."
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