New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to portray himself as a strong leader who admits his mistakes Sunday despite his repeated failures to accept responsibility for his disastrous nursing home coronavirus policy.
The Democrat governor’s nursing home order has been widely considered to have led to thousands of deaths because it placed COVID-19 patients with the elderly and people with disabilities, those most vulnerable and likely to die from the virus. Cuomo later reversed the order, but he continually has refused to take responsibility for it.
The Blaze reports Cuomo, a pro-abortion Democrat, touted his new book about his handling of COVID-19 during a speech at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. While praising himself, Cuomo criticized President Donald Trump for how he has been handling the virus.
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“The key is to be strong and secure enough to admit your mistakes and admit your shortcomings. Don’t get defensive,” Cuomo said. “Denying the mistake only assures repeating the mistake.”
While Cuomo did admit that “we’ve made mistakes during COVID,” he put most of the blame on the Trump administration. He said Americans lack “trust in the federal government” because of its “incompetence” in handling the virus.
“The federal government must learn from its mistakes and dedicate the resources and supplies to get the job done right this time,” the governor said. “Rhetoric only goes so far. We don’t want to hear any more. We want actions because it is results that matter at the end of the day.”
But it’s Cuomo’s rhetoric that is empty.
New York has the highest coronavirus death count and the second highest death rate in the U.S. According to NBC News, as of Monday, New York had 34,773 reported deaths.
In October, the Department of Justice asked the state for data about the 600-plus nursing homes in the state as well as detailed information about hospital deaths related to COVID-19.
Officially, New York reported 6,722 deaths at nursing homes due to the coronavirus. However, the state tally only includes people who died at the facility; nursing home residents who were transferred to hospitals and died there are not included in the total.
Times Union columnist Chris Churchill, the Associated Press and others believe the 6,700-plus nursing home deaths are a “significant undercount.”
“The state is hiding the truth in other words – perhaps to make a controversial March 25 order requiring that nursing homes accept COVID-19 patients appear less catastrophic than it really was,” Churchill wrote in reaction to the Department of Justice investigation.
Churchill said Cuomo keeps criticizing the investigation as a political, partisan attack, but it is not true. News outlets with right and left political leanings have been questioning the governor, as have Democrat and Republican lawmakers.
ProPublica, a left-leaning investigative news publication, also criticized the Democrat governor for releasing a book praising himself for his handling of the virus – despite his failure to be transparent about the nursing home deaths.
“Cuomo’s new book on leadership, published as the pandemic continues to ravage America, touts his willingness to speak hard truths about the pandemic,” it wrote. “Why then has he still not said how many nursing home residents perished on his watch?”
Many New Yorkers also are demanding answers. The Empire Center for Public Policy recently filed a lawsuit demanding that the state release its data on nursing home deaths.
Janice Dean, a senior meteorologist at Fox News, has been a leading critic of Cuomo after both her in-laws died from the coronavirus in March in assisted living and nursing home facilities in New York.
“Here’s one hard truth Cuomo has still yet to tell: how many nursing home residents have died of COVID-19. 9 months into the pandemic, and three months after his health commissioner testified that he was hard at work counting NH deaths, Cuomo has not announced the grim total,” Dean wrote on Twitter in October.
She believes Cuomo’s order led to her in-laws’ and other loved ones’ deaths. And she has been calling for an investigation.
Cuomo is not alone. Four other Democrat governors also ordered nursing homes to take coronavirus patients: New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania and Michigan. These five states have some of the highest nursing home death numbers, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
In June, AARP reported more than 43,000 nursing home residents and staff died from the virus, representing more than one third of all known deaths in the U.S. at the time.
“While dire, this figure is an undercount, experts warn, because not all states are publicly reporting data yet,” according to AARP. “In many states, more than half of coronavirus deaths are connected to long-term care facilities.”
Like so many others, Dean said she wants to know why the governor put vulnerable nursing home patients at risk, why he did not use the other makeshift hospitals for COVID-19 patients instead and why the state still has not released the total number of nursing-home deaths linked to the virus.
“This is not political. It’s about accountability @NYGovCuomo,” she wrote on Twitter. “We won’t stop.”