New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, once a COVID darling is now a dunce.
Cuomo, whose brother Chris often jokes with him on his show on CNN, received an Emmy “in recognition of his leadership” and writing a bestselling book called American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
But the curtain has been pulled back after the New York Post broke the story that Melissa DeRosa, one of the governor’s top aides, apologized to Democratic lawmakers for fudging the number of nursing home deaths from COVID for fear of being investigated. The true number was 15,000, not 9,056.
Such an investigation was long overdue. One of the biggest scandals of the pandemic has been the number of nursing home deaths in New York City, many of them possibly linked to a March 25 directive from the Cuomo administration forcing nursing homes to take in people even if they had tested positive for COVID-19.
It would prove a death sentence for thousands of seniors. And to fend off an investigation, the Cuomo administration underestimated the number of nursing home deaths by 40%.
But this isn’t just a government scandal. It’s a media scandal. For while the Cuomo administration was sentencing seniors to death, the media was busy fawning over Cuomo in a series of softball interviews, many of them conducted by his own brother.
Lawmakers, the state attorney and the Justice Department will now follow the money and determine whether or not Cuomo ordered the sick seniors to be moved from the hospital to nursing homes because they were only covered by Medicare/Medicaid which pays less than most insurances. The governor also had the option of moving the seniors to the USNS Comfort, a fully staffed and supplied ship that President Trump sent to New York in late March or to the temporary hospital at the Javits Center, a 2,500-bed facility was originally established to treat non-coronavirus illnesses in order to free up space in the city’s hospitals and allow for more room for COVID-19 patients.
CNN egregiously led the way in the fawning coverage of the governor by handing off interviews of the governor to his adoring brother. They had spent the spring months joshing about big noses, who was their mom’s favorite and whose hands looked more like bananas. Juxtaposed with the pandemic ravaging the senior community in the Big Apple, anyone concerned with good journalism or a separation between government and the press should have covered the mass deaths impartially. Unfortunately, the numbers were vastly under reported.
“Obviously, I’ll never be objective. Obviously, I think you’re the best politician in the country,” Chris Cuomo said during a June 24 brotherly interview.
Cuomo-love affected almost all of the governor’s coverage in the mainstream media except on FOX News where FOX and Friend’s Janice Dean regularly lamented the loss of both of her in-laws from COVID infected nursing homes. On MSNBC in May, Stephanie Ruhle gently asked about the nursing home death count, and then let the governor ramble on about how his biggest flaw is “doing too much,” asking no follow-up questions.
Cuomo’s June media tour also featured a spot on Good Morning America where hostess Amy Robach referred to him as “homecoming king of this crisis,” talked about his love life and urged him to run for president. He did not receive questions about the nursing home deaths.
Perhaps now that the second impeachment of Former President Donald Trump is behind us, the press will concentrate more on this disturbing story and fully investigate Cuomo’s seemingly reckless disregard for human life.