One of the biggest news stories of the day came from a report released by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The report revealed that the state Department of Health may have underreported COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%.
Cuomo famously directed nursing homes in the Empire State to accept patients who had or were suspected of having COVID-19. The decision was blamed for creating an onslaught of COVID-19 cases that infected thousands of elderly patients and resulted in hundreds of deaths among the state’s most vulnerable population. The governor eventually reversed the decision, but not before thousands died from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes.
While the controversy began last spring, much of the mainstream media not only offered minimal to zero coverage of Cuomo’s ill-fated policy, the governor was widely praised for his “leadership” in the response to the pandemic.
The Democratic governor became a frequent guest on “Cuomo Prime Time,” where he and his CNN-host brother would tease each other on physical appearances and fought over their mother’s affection.
Instead of pressing his brother with tough questions about his nursing home policy, the CNN anchor engaged in prop comedy by using giant cotton swabs to poke fun at the size of his brother’s nose following a nasal COVID test.
However, after months of avoiding the subject and nearly a dozen one-on-one appearances on his show, Cuomo finally lobbed a softball to this brother.
“Nursing homes. People died there, they didn’t have to, it was mismanaged and the operators have been given immunity. What do you have to say about that?” the CNN anchor asked.
“Several statements that are not correct, but that’s OK. It’s your show, you say whatever you want to say,” Gov. Cuomo jokingly reacted before dodging on taking any responsibility.
During that same interview, CNN’s Cuomo admitted to his viewers “Of course, I’m not objective” while expressing his love for his brother.
“I hope you are able to appreciate what you did in your state and what it means for the rest of the country now. I’m wowed by what you did, and more importantly, I’m wowed by how you did it,” Chris Cuomo told the governor.
While other CNN anchors drew attention to the Cuomo scandal, CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza appeared to lack any self-awareness with his “analysis,” declaring on Twitter that the “Andrew Cuomo Covid-19 story took a major hit today” and that governor’s “performance” “may have been less stellar than it seemed.”
“If Donald Trump was seen as the public face of the failed government response to the coronavirus pandemic, Andrew Cuomo was seen by some as the opposite — a politician who understood the myriad challenges created by Covid-19 and moved quickly to address them in the most transparent way possible… Well, it turns out that all the hype obscured a troubling reality,” Cillizza wrote. “There’s much we still don’t know. But here’s something we do know: Should [NY AG] James’ report be borne out, it would occasion a serious reexamination of Cuomo’s performance during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Cillizza’s analysis was panned on social media with critics pointing out that Cuomo’s nursing home policy had been reported on months ago and how outlets like CNN chose to overlook it.