New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo is finally facing the music following a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James, finding the state's Department of Health severely undercounted the number of COVID-related deaths in New York nursing homes by, perhaps, as much as 50 percent. But it looks like deaths in New York nursing homes aren't the only things being undercounted in New York.
The fawning liberal media tried to make a star out of Cuomo, as the governor held daily press briefings while locking down the Empire State. As the show kept going, Cuomo started introducing props into his routine, like the greenish, styrofoam structure the governor used to represent a mountain.
"We don’t need to climb another mountain," Cuomo said at a briefing in June, in front of the giant mountain prop. "One mountain was enough. We don’t want to climb a mountain range."
During a pandemic, a prop to represent a mountain doesn't seem like the best use of resources. Responding to criticism, a spokesperson for Cuomo said the fake mountain only cost $183.72 and was entirely paid for by the Cuomo campaign. But much like the true number of nursing home deaths in his state, there's more to the story than the governor would have you believe.
A Freedom of Information request filed by the Democrat & Chronicle prompted the state to release a receipt from Lowe's, a hardware store, showing the cost of materials used to build the prop came out to $415.34, more than double the figure previously provided. Sound familiar?
A spokeswoman for the administration attempted to explain away the latest discrepancy.
"Please note that, $183.72 worth of the materials from Lowes was used to create the mountain and the entire amount of the Lowes receipt was reimbursed by Governor Cuomo’s campaign," a spokeswoman for the state Office of General Services told the Democrat & Chronicle.
The $415.34 receipt was reportedly for 10, two-inch foam insulation boards and three cans of green paint. The spokeswoman did not say how many state employees worked to build the mountain prop and for how long. She also did not specify how the state came up with the $183.72 figure.
A couple hundred dollars may not be the biggest discrepancy. But it does fit a pattern in which initial numbers provided by the administration do not hold up under scrutiny.