New Yorkers who lost family members to COVID while they were in nursing homes demanded an apology from Gov. Cuomo on Sunday.

Gathering outside a health center in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, the protesters set up a coffin and adorned it with flyers of Cuomo’s new book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

“We would forgive! But we need an apology, a sincere apology!” exclaimed Peter Arbeeny, who said he lost five family members — three in nursing homes — in April.

Janice Dean, a Fox News meteorologist, called for an investigation of Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the peak of the pandemic, which by Saturday had claimed the lives of 25,644 New Yorkers — about 6,600 of them in nursing homes, according to the state Health Department.

“My husband’s parents who died in separate eldercare facilities were registered Democrats and the governor likes to say this is all about politics,” said Dean. “But it’s not; it’s about accountability and families.”

Asked about the protest at a Manhattan press conference, Cuomo defended his administration’s conduct.

“Everyone, I believe, did everything they could to save lives, and New Yorkers were heroic, specifically in nursing homes,” he said.

“We still have the most aggressive safety program in nursing homes in the country,” the governor added, noting state policy calls for every nursing home employee to be tested for COVID once a week, among other precautions.


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