Politics

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Clings to His Pedestal

"Incompetent government kills people," he said in January.

|

A year ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was a pandemic hero. As of this writing, he is clinging to his job as calls to step down crescendo within his own party. Several women allege the Democratic governor sexually harassed them—a particularly inconvenient situation for Cuomo, considering he has publicly positioned himself as a champion for women in the #MeToo era.

The accusations deserve to be taken seriously. But they should not be considered the biggest scandal Cuomo faces. That distinction goes to his pandemic-related job performance, which resulted in so many unnecessary deaths in his state that he appears to have felt the need to obscure the record from the public.

"People value the truth," Cuomo said in a January interview on MSNBC. "Incompetent government kills people. More people died than needed to die [of] COVID."

Two days after that interview, New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed that the Cuomo administration had covered up the actual number of New Yorkers who died from the coronavirus as a result of Cuomo's order requiring nursing homes to admit elderly COVID-19 patients. "COVID-19 resident deaths associated with nursing homes in New York state appear to be undercounted by [the Department of Health] by approximately 50 percent," the report said.

According to James' investigation, Cuomo's administration had counted patients who contracted COVID-19 in a nursing home but died in a hospital as hospital rather than nursing home deaths. At one nursing home facility, the DOH had recorded only seven COVID-19 deaths as of August 3. But by April 18—nearly four months earlier—that same facility had reported 31 suspected COVID-19 deaths to the Office of the Attorney General.

Suddenly, Cuomo changed his tune. "Who cares?" he said during a confrontational press conference. "Died in a hospital. Died in a nursing home. They died."

The governor doubled down in February after a top aide admitted that his administration deliberately hid the information. "We were in a position where we weren't sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, and what we start saying, was going to be used against us, and we weren't sure if there was going to be an investigation," Melissa DeRosa told Dem-ocratic state legislators during a February 10 call.

Even after those remarks were leaked to the New York Post, no apology was forthcoming. "When you come up with conspiracy theories or this disinformation," Cuomo said during a press conference, "then the worst thing you can say to somebody who lost a loved one is, 'Maybe it didn't have to be. Maybe there was a government issue.'"

Things got worse for the governor in March, when The New York Times revealed that Cuomo aides had deliberately altered data in an official health department report outlining the number of nursing home deaths. So much for valuing the truth.

Cuomo has said he was following federal guidance in March 2020 when he prohibited long-term care facilities from denying admission or readmission to patients who had tested positive for COVID-19, so long as they were deemed "medically stable." But on March 29, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine urged Cuomo to retract his order. The organization cited a report in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on a devastating outbreak in a Seattle nursing home.

Cuomo refused to budge until May, when he specified that elderly COVID-19 patients needed to test negative before being admitted to nursing homes. In the intervening month, New Jersey and Pennsylvania issued their own versions of Cuomo's order and recorded their own grizzly elder death tolls.

No American leader got it exactly right in the early days of the pandemic. Even Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has admitted that his initial advice against general use of face masks was largely grounded not in science but in concerns about a shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers.

Yet Cuomo not only has refused to take responsibility for the nursing home fiasco; he has continued to impose bad COVID-19 policy on his state. In December, he put New York medical providers in a vaccine double bind, forcing them to throw away expired vaccines (and face fines of up to $100,000) or give nearly expired vaccines to people who were not on the priority list (and face fines of up to $1 million).

Cuomo relaxed those rules only after hospitals began trashing doses nearing expiration to avoid the threatened million-dollar fines. And no, he didn't apologize for that bad idea either. More than 7,000 people in New York reportedly died from COVID-19 between mid-December, when the first vaccine made its debut, and late January. Some of those lives might have been spared had the discarded doses found their way into New Yorkers' arms.

Despite all this, many prominent people and institutions, desperate for a competent foil to then–President Donald Trump, spent the last year celebrating Cuomo as the leader America needed.

Beginning in March, CNN host Chris Cuomo, the governor's brother, conducted softball interviews with him in which the most adversarial exchanges pertained to the family tomato sauce recipe, "ill-fitting" fashion choices, which sibling their mom likes best, and whether the governor's nose is so colossal that it requires an extra-large cotton swab for COVID-19 testing. In October, the governor signed a contract with Random House to write American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic. The next month, Hollywood gave him the International Emmy Founders Award for his "masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world."

The tide seems to be turning. On February 19, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) said she supported "a full investigation into the Cuomo administration's handling of nursing homes during COVID-19." Had his allies been interested, they could have read Newark Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine's report on the nursing home fiasco, published in May 2020. But why let the truth get in the way of a feel-good story? One reason comes from Cuomo himself: because "incompetent government kills people."

NEXT: Brickbat: Which Came First, the Chicken or the Nosy Neighbor?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I thought he clings to womens’ asses and breasts.

      1. FAKE GOVERNOR

      2. When he gropes the breasts, it makes him a titter clinger.

    1. I’d inhale the wop fumes from Lady Gaga’s dago ass

      1. Dude…

      2. You’d eat the corn out of AOC’s shit, amIright?

  2. Why is teenage Justin Bieber lecturing us?

  3. We in the reality-based, data-driven community know that Andrew Cuomo’s New York has had the most effective pandemic response out of all 50 states. Republican-run states like Florida, in contrast, have been mismanaged to a downright tragic degree.

    #HarrisCuomo2024

    1. False.

      If you go to CDC website https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_deathsper100k for Covid death rate since Jan 2020 the DATA will rank the states. Top five death rates by state are NJ, MA, RI, MS, AZ in descending order. Top death rate exceeding any state rate is NYC.

      Are you really looking up your own data or just reciting news assertions that profess to be reality-based and data-driven?

      1. OpenBorderLiberal-tarian ≡ Delicious Poe’s Law level parody. Welcome to the comments.

        1. Thanks!

          1. You would have picked up on it if he had used his great line, “Cuomo literally wrote the book on effective pandemic response.”

      2. Congratulations! You’ve been OBL’d [it happens to everybody, at least once].

    2. p.s. FL is 27th on the list. As a former reporter, I never take media assertions at face value and always look up the data myself. The NYT gets a zero, WP is slightly better, WSJ good, Fox News surprisingly accurate much as I despise their tone, Reason batting 100 so far.

      1. If batting is a good analogy for 100 percent. Not a sports person!

        1. You are looking for batting 1000. Batting 100 is a hit ratio of 0.100 or 10%…the batting average of an average pitcher.

    3. Totally. Throw Cuomo out. The difference between me and you, drone, is that I don’t get all bitchy when someone says something mean about Trump. One of us has principles and it’s not you.

      1. Whoosh!

      2. “…The difference between me and you, drone, is that I don’t get all bitchy when someone says something mean about Trump. One of us has principles and it’s not you.”

        You have the same “principles” as every other TDS-addled lefty asshole.

      3. You mean your ‘pillars’. You have ten of them. Right out of the Communist Manifesto.

  4. But why let the truth get in the way of a feel-good story?

    Because he’s served his purpose. He was a use campaign prop to get BadOrangeMan out of office and BadOrangeMan is gone. Now the national Democrats don’t want the state Democrats as an alternative center of power within the party. So, Cuomo is now expendable.

    1. “Cuomo” and “feel-good” should not be used in proximity of each other.

      1. “Up” is slang for “good”, and Cuomo is an expert at “feeling-up”.

  5. He’ll be fine after all he has the “D” shield.
    And Joe Biden killed the #MeToo movement the minute he was chosen as frontrunner. Just ask Sens. Warren, Klobuchar & Harris. Each uttered some version of “While I believe the victim (Tara Reid), I know Joe and he’s okay so….”

  6. Grisly – adjective, causing horror or disgust.
    Grizzly – noun, a bear native to North America.
    – rare adjective, gray-haired, usually “grizzled.”

    1. Yes, but I loved the sweet mental image of grizzly deaths in rest homes.

      1. I hope the bears wear masks.

      2. Won’t anyone think of the poor bears? Bear Lives Matter! Even during hibernation.

  7. Running for president is a sure fire way for all of a progressives past transgressions to be memory holed

  8. “We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice,”

    What part of cover up don’t you understand?

  9. “People value the truth,” Cuomo said in a January interview on MSNBC. “Incompetent government kills people. More people died than needed to die [of] COVID.”

    Two days after that interview, New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed that the Cuomo administration had covered up the actual number of New Yorkers who died from the coronavirus as a result of Cuomo’s order requiring nursing homes to admit elderly COVID-19 patients.

    So, not only is Andrew truthful but consistent as well!

    1. New York Truth. You know, like Boston Strong.

      1. Or, Fresh Houston Smell.

  10. Fauci … has admitted that his initial advice against general use of face masks was largely grounded not in science but in concerns about a shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers.

    Uh, huh. So when will he admit the true grounding of the *current* advice?

  11. Now do Trump.

    1. Sure, because not telling people to do what you want them to do is the same as telling people to do the wrong thing.

      1. Whoosh!

        1. Caught bullshitting again, TDS-addled lefty asshole!

        2. It will be good when you commies are wiped out.

    2. “Now do Trump.”

      Caused zero deaths, jump-started the vaccine development and pissed off TDS-addled lefty assholes like you; what more could you ask?
      Fuck off and die, but pay your mortgage first, parasite.

  12. The press should have been focusing on Cuomo’s incompetent behavior from the start–especially his stupid lockdowns.

    And the press really is at fault here. Who doubts but that one of the reasons why they were reluctant to go after Cuomo and Newsom was because they were afraid of making Trump look good in contrast?

    Surely, I’m not the only one who remembers the press excoriating Trump for not making Cuomo’s and Newsom’s policies mandatory nationally. If you want to look at the truly incompetent job here, look at the press.

    1. “If you want to look at the truly incompetent job here, look at the press.”

      Ken is spot on. The covid fear mongering, race baiting and Trump hating woke news media (including Wall St. Journal and Fox News) has been leading the Democrat Party further left for the past decade (since their love affair with Obama).

  13. Suddenly, Cuomo changed his tune. “Who cares?” he said during a confrontational press conference. “Died in a hospital. Died in a nursing home. They died.”

    And then he went on to say, “Either way, I want credit for clearing out the senile dead wood and boosting the solvency of Social Security and Medicare.”

  14. Cuomo is a criminial and should be in Rikers

    1. Nah, he’s definitely in for another term as governor:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/24/upshot/andrew-cuomo-polls-governor.html

      “But 57 percent of Democrats say he is doing a good job, a new poll shows, enough support to give him a decent chance at a fourth term.” 4/24/2021

      As I’ve mentioned, these people fucking deserve the government they keep electing, and reelecting.

      1. 57% of Democrats don’t know what a “job” is.

        1. Let ’em rot.

        2. Democrat Bill Clinton knows about jobs…

      2. New Yorkers are the whiniest, dumbest, crudest pieces of shit on the planet.

    2. If the time comes those nipple propellers will aid Cuomo in a hasty escape.

  15. “Who cares?”

    “WHAT DIFFERENCE, AT HIS POINT, DOES IT MAKE!?”

    Anybody else notice the similarity?

  16. “No American leader got it exactly right in the early days of the pandemic. Even Anthony Fauci[‘s]… initial advice against general use of face masks was largely grounded not in science but in concerns about a shortage.”

    Mr. Binion, I have a hard time believing someone naive enough to write this is cynical enough to be a libertarian.

    Fauci is both a doctor and bureaucrat. So making a decision based on logistics, rather than the policy prescriptions of researchers, is entirely valid.

    Second, the policy prescriptions of researchers are NOT science. The “science” bit is where they test mask efficacy, or create poor computer models. When they start saying “…therefore the government should…”, that’s when they shift from scientist to activist. Whatever mantle of objectivity that you grant them while in scientist mode is entirely undeserved for the activist.

  17. Government worshipers have it easy. When bad government policy is exposed, they can just point to the elected official rather than the government itself. Pointing at Trump was really easy, he wasn’t genuine government. And praise Cuomo until it gets embarrassing, then blame him while still praising the government he was in charge of.

    But Cuomo didn’t drive those old people to the nursing homes so they could infect others. He’s not the one who held the gun to their heads. He may have given the order, but underlings followed it through without question.

    Back in 1946 the world wondered how the Germans could have just gone along with the Nazis. It was a key question in the movie “Judgement at Nuremberg”. But the answer is really simple. People don’t question the government itself. If there was any wrong to the German government between 1933 and 1945, it’s because the Wrong Men were in office. Bullshit. The wrong was the attitude that government was always right and don’t question what the government did. People clamored for a strong leader and they got one.

    I won’t point fingers, but anyone who says government is good it’s just the wrong people in charge, is as bad as the German people during the Nazi years. Trump wasn’t the problem, the US government was the problem. Cuomo wasn’t the problem, the New York government was the problem. That you may like one set of policies over another is irrelevant. It’s always a malicious and evil government who will build that wall or send your gramma off to die. When you excuse that wall or that nursing home policy, you become the Nazi.

    1. ^

  18. “People clamored for a strong leader and they got one.”

    And they still do; if only the right person were to come along, everything would be great.

    1. What’s that word for a group of people who surrender their personal autonomy and dedicate their identity to a super-human leader?

      1. Minions?

      2. A fine example of a citizen of the Imperium of Man?

      3. We we looking for “cult”.

  19. “Incompetent government kills people,” he said in January.

    Well, he would know.

  20. The Washington Post is doing a really fine job of not covering Cuomo’s travails.

  21. Even Anthony Fauci…has admitted that his initial advice against general use of face masks was largely grounded not in science but in concerns about a shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers.

    Excuse my French but merde de cheval. That is a weapons grade retcon designed to convince morons today that wearing a piece of poorly fitting, filthy cloth loosely over your mouth and under your nose does anything positive.

  22. What’s truly funny is that if Sonny hadn’t sent all those sick oldsters back to the nursing homes, NY would not have lost a Congressional seat.

    1. Now that was funny.

  23. As of this writing, he is clinging to his job as calls to step down crescendo within his own party. Several women allege the Democratic governor sexually harassed them—a particularly inconvenient situation for Cuomo, considering he has publicly positioned himself as a champion for women in the #MeToo era.

    Oh man… SPEAKING of which… Check this short clip out.

    No, Rose, tell us what you REALLY think of Alyssa Milano.

  24. “And I should know!”

  25. Damn, Billy, this is a scathing piece. And nobody deserves it more than Cuomo…

  26. Cuomo will blame it on his staff – right? Is there proof he ordered the coverup?

  27. A bigger asshole than even Trump.

    1. Not quite as big as TDS-addled assholes.

  28. “…The governor doubled down in February after a top aide admitted that his administration deliberately hid the information. “We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, and what we start saying, was going to be used against us, and we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” Melissa DeRosa told Democratic state legislators during a February 10 call…”

    They lied for political gain, and there is no investigation.
    The man ought to be hanging from a street light on Albany’s Main Street.

    1. I think there are enough crooked democrats in any to hang one from every street light they have. Cuomo should ideally be executed, after his trial, by being burned alive.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.