New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) star has abruptly fallen after evidence surfaced that his administration suppressed the truth about the number of nursing home deaths from COVID-19.
Cuomo’s response to the rising tide of criticism? “Whether a person died in the hospital or in the nursing home, people died, people died,” adding “who cares” where they died.
Despite the fact that he directly issued an executive order requiring nursing homes — which house the most vulnerable populations to COVID-19 — to accept COVID-19 patients during the height of the state’s crisis, Cuomo has no intention of taking responsibility for the disaster.
Cuomo’s downfall comes from a quite unexpected source: Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has been examining the death toll resulting from Cuomo’s order and has found that Cuomo’s public health administration may have misrepresented the impact of the disaster.
Cuomo held a press conference on Friday in which he took questions about James’ report. It didn’t go well.
When asked what he would say to families that lost loved ones as a result of his executive order, Cuomo responded that he would say “everyone did the best they could” before attempting to blame the disaster on federal guidelines.
“Whether a person died in the hospital or in the nursing home, people died, people died,” Cuomo declared, adding that New York’s nursing home deaths fell below the 28 percent national threshold of COVID-19 deaths overall.
“New York State, we’re only about 28%, only, but we’re below the national average in number of deaths in nursing homes — but who cares?” he asked. “Thirty-three, twenty-eight, died in a hospital, died in a nursing home, they died.”
Back to Trump
Cuomo repeated the argument that the Trump administration is responsible for nursing home deaths, a claim first made during an interview on Tuesday that didn’t quite go over as expected.
“This state, I’m very proud of what New Yorkers have done, because they have rallied. We were ambushed like no other state, Nicolle, and again, it was from federal incompetence,” Cuomo told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace on Tuesday.
“Incompetent government kills people. More people died than needed to die in COVID. That’s the truth,” he concluded.
The statement backfired spectacularly, as the media and internet exploded in accusations that his was the incompetent governance. Fox News’ Judge Jeanine responded to Cuomo’s attempt to deflect responsibility:
Andrew Cuomo, you are the essence of incompetent government. New York was the epicenter of the virus. New York had the highest number of deaths compared to any other state in the union, and he wants to blame it on the government? You’re the government, Andrew Cuomo. You’re the one that was killing people.