Somehow, after months of arrogance, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still shocking the press with his behavior. Clearly, the news has been getting under his skin lately because on Wednesday he lashed out at Democrat Assemblyman Ron Kim.
Kim has been one of several lawmakers to demand answers from the Cuomo administration regarding the number of individuals who died in nursing homes the past year during the pandemic, and the apparent cover-up of the truth. In a recent call with Democratic legislators, Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa admitted that they concealed the actual, much higher number of fatalities because they didn't want the Department of Justice on their backs. Kim lost an uncle in a nursing home, so he's got a personal stake in the fight to find answers. He has demanded both apologies and investigations.
So Cuomo went after Kim by name on Wednesday. The assemblyman responded with a defiant statement outlining all of the governor's missteps during the pandemic.
As expected, it was Cuomo's senior adviser Rich Azzopardi who responded to Kim. In his statement, Azzopardi argues that Cuomo and Kim have had a long, hostile relationship. He calls Kim an "unscrupulous politician" who's out to "deceive" New Yorkers.
I'll let it sink in for a bit that that charge is coming from someone in the Cuomo administration, who literally deceived New Yorkers for months about the true scope of the nursing home tragedy.
He finishes his tirade by insisting New Yorkers blame President Trump for the New York tragedy instead.
Azzopardi has made a name for himself lately in making callous asides about people who dare to disagree or challenge Cuomo's leadership. He was the one, you may remember, who dismissed Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean as some uninformed weather girl when she was trying to get answers as to how both of her in-laws died in New York nursing homes. He also dismissed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) as a "QANON Trump puppet" when she called for a DOJ probe.
As for an apology from the Cuomo administration, I guess the closest we'll get is this line from Azzopardi's statement: "We do agree that we did not provide enough public information quickly enough which created a void for conspiracy theories to flourish." They accept "responsibility" for creating that void.
As we reported, Democrats have introduced a measure to strip Cuomo of his emergency powers. And he's finally under a real investigation.