Failure and Spin: The Dishonest Shamelessness of the Cuomo Brothers

Posted: Jul 29, 2020 10:25 AM

You'd think that if you were a governor who'd just presided over the very worst state-level pandemic death toll in the country, you'd have the common sense and self-awareness to keep a low profile and exude humility on the subject. And you'd think that if you were that governor's brother -- say, a television personality who famously broke quarantine while symptomatic with the virus, then lied about it -- you'd have the good sense to tamp down your COVID-related criticism of others. But you aren't the Cuomo brothers. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been spiking the football as if his state's Coronavirus death statistics don't exist. He's traveled to other states with far better statistics to lecture them about how to do better, exhibiting surreal hypocrisy on mask-wearing in the process:

Cuomo has also lashed out at those in the media who have dared to question his personal tale of heroism, starring himself:

It's the New York Post and Fox who are at fault for noticing his lethal nursing home policy, you see, which he allowed to remain active for week after deadly week. And he's got his little brother Chris, purporting to be a journalist, running interference for him -- not just engaging in truth-altering propaganda about New York, but lobbing conspiratorial attacks against other governors who've empirically performed far better. Here's how the younger Cuomo, who staged a made-for-TV "emergence" from a quarantine he'd violated, framed New York's worst-in-the-nation death toll:

"Had and has its struggles." Like a massive spike in deaths at the very beginning of the pandemic, seeding outbreaks around the country, and not taking basic measures to mitigate its spread for weeks on end? New York has by far the most COVID deaths in America and is neck-and-neck with neighboring New Jersey for the highest death rate. The failures of leadership in the Empire State have been extensively documented, and not just by the governor's preferred culprits. But here's Chris Cuomo's very journalistic assessment of the governor of a state that is fully 22 slots better than New York on the mortality rate front:

There are fair criticisms to advance against Gov. DeSantis, but he has unquestionably outperformed Gov. Cuomo on the critical issue of nursing homes, rejecting New York's horrific policy in favor of something smarter and more prescient. As of Monday, New York's COVID death rate per 100,000 was 168. Florida's was 27. In raw numbers, more than 32,000 New Yorkers have died from the virus. In Florida, which has a much larger population (including a disproportionately high number of vulnerable seniors), the death toll is approximately 6,000. Sure, New York is well past its initial wave peak, while Florida is in the midst of that wave, along with other sunbelt states, which happen to be governed by members of both political parties. The Sunshine State's numbers will get worse; despite signs that the current spike is leveling off or reversing, deaths are a lagging indicator. But the last people who should be throwing stones southward are leaders of states (and their cheerleaders) whose statistics are inescapably and dramatically worse. Here's how Chris Cuomo reacted to a ray of improving news out of Florida:

Let's set aside the fact that his brother quietly started cooking the books on nursing home deaths when he realized how ugly things were getting, shifting the death counting rules to minimize the growing number -- and that his administration scrubbed the original, terrible policy off of the state's website after they finally reversed it. Let's also set aside the fact that Florida has been extremely transparent with its data, and that this bogus controversy about opacity and retribution has been thoroughly debunked. Becket Adams at the Washington Examiner highlights another glaring double standard at play:

Cuomo has not always been so incredulous when it comes to COVID-19 data. In March, after the Johns Hopkins University pandemic tracker showed the U.S. coronavirus case count had surpassed 85,000, Cuomo heralded the troubling news, claiming even China, where the virus originated, was not as bad off as America. “The United States now has the most coronavirus cases on earth, more than Italy, now even more than China where all this started,” Cuomo told his viewers.  That would indeed be a troubling statistic for anyone stupid enough to believe Beijing’s official figures, which Cuomo apparently is. For reference, Chinese officials claimed in March that new coronavirus cases had increased by only 1,782 since late February. This is extremely unlikely, especially considering China had previously said new cases had jumped from 920 to roughly 80,000 between Jan. 23 and Feb. 29. “This is the fact,” Cuomo insisted, asserting something that was most certainly not a fact.

He uncritically ran with Communist China's ludicrous numbers but is baselessly questioning the state of Florida's. I'd call that amazing, but it's not, really. With the brothers Cuomo, brazen shamelessness comes standard.