Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul pledged to end Albany’s “legacy of sleaze” when she takes over from Gov. Andrew Cuomo next week. So why is she keeping on the man most responsible, besides Cuomo, for the deadly COVID nursing-home scandal?
Hochul asked Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to remain at his post, sources tell The Post. At a press conference later, she told reporters she’ll be “taking advantage” of her “deep relationships” with “outstanding commissioners” and freeing them to “make smart decisions.”
Yet Zucker doesn’t make “smart decisions,” and keeping him on, even if briefly, only gives him a chance to do more damage.
Hochul might be nervous about replacing the state’s top public-health official as Delta surges, but Zucker has spent more time covering for Cuomo than acting in the interests of public health. He issued the infamous March 25, 2020, order forcing nursing homes to take in COVID-positive patients — and then helped the gov hide the toll. A report by the Empire Center out Tuesday details the wrongdoing.
Hochul says, “Job No. 1 is to clean house of people who were mentioned in” state Attorney General Letitia James’ report on Cuomo’s sexual harassment. But New Yorkers want a clean sweep of anyone who enabled the gov’s many misdeeds — and the nursing-home coverup might be his worst. She should sweep Zucker out immediately.
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