“First Gov. Andrew Cuomo hid the truth about deaths of nursing home residents from the public. Then his administration lied about why. Then, pretending to come clean, it lied about why it lied,” read the The Albany Times-Union editorial. “Enough. Mr. Cuomo has squandered the public’s trust at a time when it’s needed more than ever.”
The staff noted that trust in government officials is of paramount importance during the current pandemic and Cuomo broke that trust by withholding and undercounting data about nursing home deaths in his state. “It is time for Mr. Cuomo to resign, and for those who helped him deceive the public to go, too,” they wrote.
Believing his own press
Cuomo has steadfastly refused to resign despite increasing pressure from many within his own party.
The governor’s fall from grace comes after a year of glowing press coverage. In November last year, he received a Daytime Emmy for his press briefings and even published a book about his handling of the pandemic in New York.
His daily coronavirus briefings were broadcast on national television for weeks, and the media heaped praise on his supposed leadership as New York became the epicenter of the first wave of the virus. He was even mentioned as a possible presidential candidate when party leaders briefly considered replacing Joe Biden on the ticket.
In reality, he was one of the last governors to act on mitigating the coronavirus, and sent thousands of nursing home patients back into those facilities while they were still positive for the virus and able to infect others.
Fox News meteorologist Nancy Dean said for almost a year that Cuomo’s positive press was undeserved and that he caused thousands of unnecessary nursing home deaths with his policies.
Undercounted deaths by 50%
Cuomo claimed in a July report that nursing home staff were the ones responsible for spreading the virus there and that New York ranked better than most states in nursing home deaths.
In a January report, New York Attorney General Letitia James said New York nursing home deaths while Cuomo’s policy was in place were 50% higher than originally estimated.
The Times-Union editorial suggested that the cover-up was used to bolster Cuomo’s national image and sell more copies of his book.
That scandal, along with a growing number of sexual harassment allegations against the governor, have led to the paper demanding Cuomo’s resignation, a decision the editors said they did not make lightly after endorsing him three times as the right person to be New York’s “moral voice” on a national stage. “Mr. Cuomo can no longer be that voice,” they wrote.