Ever defensive, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to defer any accountability for the over 6,000 nursing home fatalities since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. And that may be lowballing it. We don't know the exact number because the Cuomo administration refuses to share it.
Many critics say the culprit is easy to detect. On March 25, Cuomo signed a mandate ordering nursing homes to accept COVID patients who had been released from the hospital. Considering the virus spread like wildfire in these senior care facilities, logic suggests that his mandate had something to do with it. But not to the governor. He insists it was either the fault of the federal government, or nursing home staffers who unwittingly brought COVID into the facilities.
Activists, lawmakers like Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), and grieving loved ones such as Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean, who lost her in-laws to COVID in New York nursing homes, have all called for an independent investigation into how the March 25 order impacted the spread of the virus. The New York Department of Health report, which urgently concluded the policy had no significant impact on the untimely deaths, was largely dismissed as a joke.
Yet those requests seem to have fallen on deaf ears in the governor's mansion, judging by Cuomo's response. As you can see, he subtly suggested that it's only Fox News routinely calling for an independent investigation. He dismissed it as a political hit job.
“I wouldn’t do an investigation whether or not it’s political, everybody can make that decision for themselves,” Cuomo said at his press conference. “I think you’d have to be blind to realize it’s not political."
He added: “Just look at where it comes from and look at the sources and look at their political affiliations and look at who wrote the letter in Congress and look at what publications raise it and what media outward networks raise it.”
As Dean noted in her reply, "an innocent governor would welcome any and all investigations."