Media Won’t Pay a Price for Cheering Cuomo’s Draconian COVID Policies
Andrew Cuomo is gone, resigning over his sex-abuse scandal. But will his departure lead to a reassessment of his draconian and irrational COVID-19 policies from a press that fawned over his performance? Don’t count on it.
The media coverage revealed that liberal America prefers the authoritarian style Cuomo presented. He knew better and wasn’t afraid to use his position to force others to comply. And the media ate it up. People who questioned the need for and effectiveness of restrictions and whether the government had authority to impose them were derided as right-wing reactionaries.
A New York Times headline blared: “Andrew Cuomo Is the Control Freak We Need Right Now.” Forbes praised Cuomo’s news conferences as “assertive and reassuring, calming and urgent” and gushed that Cuomo was “a truly inspiring leader who brings out the best in us.” The Washington Post, while acknowledging that Cuomo was and remains a power hungry “bully,” praised his assertive, supposedly truthful communications style. Rolling Stone’s cover approving proclaimed, “Andrew Cuomo Takes Charge.”
In what now seems eerily prescient and embarrassing, other papers reported on Cuomo’s sex appeal to women and a YouTuber coined the phrase “Cuomosexual.” Cuomo won a lucrative book contract and an Emmy.
Yet most of the mainstream media rarely questioned the substance of Cuomo’s policies. They barely raised a peep over his disastrous order that from March 25 to May 10, 2020, compelled nursing homes to readmit hospitalized COVID-19 patients without checking if they still had active infection. In fact, the facilities were instructed that they could not deny admission “based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19” and were “prohibited” from testing prospective admissions for COVID-19.
The Cuomo administration intentionally hid the cost of this blunder by falsifying Department of Health reports and stonewalling Freedom of Information Law requests for the number of nursing-home admissions and deaths that resulted from the policy for over eight months.
In a leaked recording from Feb. 10, 2021, former Cuomo consigliore Melissa DeRosa admitted to Democratic lawmakers that the administration hid the true numbers of nursing-home deaths for political reasons.
The true numbers only came out after a Jan. 28, 2021, report from state Attorney General Letitia James — whose recent sexual-harassment report led to Cuomo’s resignation — found that Cuomo’s DOH had underreported in-facility deaths by as much as 19 percent, and undercounted nursing-facility deaths by 50 percent.
Shortly afterward, in response to a court order to comply with FOIL requests, the DOH revealed that more than 9,000 COVID-19 patients had been admitted to nursing facilities pursuant to its March 25 directive — 43 percent higher than previously disclosed — and that about 15,000 nursing-home, assisted-living and other adult-care facility patients had died of Covid-19 — a 63 percent increase over previous DOH reports.
Read the full article at New York Post.