SI Young Republicans to launch lecture series with voice critic Cuomo


STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Staten Island Young Republicans (SIYR) organization had hoped to launch a lecture series last year, but like most plans for 2020, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has stood in the way.

This year, with a better understanding of virtual technologies, the group of about 40 young conservatives will launch such a series Thursday night with Janice Dean, Fox News meteorologist, nursing home residents advocate and voice critic for Governor Andrew Cuomo, SIYR chairman Peter Giunta said Tuesday.

“Most of our members have grandparents who are still alive,” he said. “With COVID, a lot of families have been cut off from loved ones … I just think it’s sad and Janice’s story resonates with them.”

In large part, the COVID-related deaths of the parents of Dean’s husband in elderly care facilities in New York City prompted her to criticize the governor and his policies on nursing homes.

Cuomo has been criticized in recent weeks for these policies, with many calling for a full investigation into nursing home-related COVID deaths, and some going so far as to call for the governor’s impeachment.

More recently, the governor’s office has come under fire for its delayed release of information and the number of nursing home-related deaths. Cuomo has repeatedly accepted responsibility for creating an information “vacuum”.

A Marist poll published on Tuesday found that 60% of New Yorkers surveyed “perceive wrongdoing” from the governor’s management of nursing homes.

Giunta also works as Chief of Staff for MP Michael Reilly (R-South Shore), who expressed their support for a state commission that would investigate the governor’s handling of the outbreak in nursing homes.

While SIYR is explicitly a political organization, Giunta has said that Dean’s advocacy for nursing home patients and their families transcends partisan lines.

“It means a lot to our members, and I think the Staten Islanders, in general, that Janice comes to talk to us,” he said.

Dean is due to deliver his speech virtually Thursday at 7 p.m. The event is free for SIYR members, but $ 10 for non-members wishing to attend. To find out more, visit their online event page.

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