There were signs of popular anger with embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) at a memorial in Brooklyn on Sunday, where Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean issued a fresh call for the Democrat to face the music over thousands of nursing home deaths under his watch.
But while Cuomo’s stunning fall from grace has captivated the nation, he’s not the only Democrat whose COVID-19 glory days concealed grim realities.
As Cuomo faces unprecedented pressure to resign, some are wondering if his moment of misfortune will cause the dam to break around other Democratic governors who cost the lives of vulnerable seniors.
In recent weeks, Cuomo has fallen far from where he was a year ago, when he received rapturous praise for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic — praise that belied thousands of deaths in nursing homes that he sought to hide.
Although the cover-up is finally receiving attention, Cuomo has yet to resign, and those demanding accountability are far from finished. At Sunday’s memorial, New Yorkers who lost loved ones in the state’s nursing homes over the past year shared their grief.
Among them was Dean, who has crusaded against Cuomo since losing her in-laws last spring. “We are bound together because we want answers, and we will not stop,” she said, according to Fox News.
In a sign of how broad the anti-Cuomo coalition has grown, Democratic New York Assemblyman Ron Kim, who has feuded prominently with Cuomo and says he lost his uncle in a nursing home, also called for the truth to come to light, Fox noted.
Rallygoers reportedly help up signs saying “#SeniorsToo,” a plea to not forget about loved ones who perished alone, as Cuomo faces a sexual harassment scandal that some worry is overshadowing the nursing home deaths.
It remains to be seen what will happen to the governor, but Dean is among those claiming vindication after months of what seemed like shouting in the void, as the nursing home story was dismissed by Cuomo as a political attack, and dutifully ignored by a complaisant media as a right-wing conspiracy.
The questions on many minds now are whether Cuomo will survive this, and whether his sudden misfortune is the start of a larger reckoning with a year of criminal negligence by Democratic governors that got swept under the rug.
Even now, some speculate that Cuomo’s #MeToo moment is the story of choice for a Democratic Party eager to protect governors who share his nursing home woes, such as Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer.
As always, the bigger issue seems to be whether Democrats are allowed to define the narrative.