'Who Cares?' Cuomo Doubles Down on Shameless Dishonesty as Nursing Home Scandal Unravels

Posted: Feb 01, 2021 1:01 PM
'Who Cares?' Cuomo Doubles Down on Shameless Dishonesty as Nursing Home Scandal Unravels

Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

On Friday, we wrote about the latest developments in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's nursing home scandal. The New York Democrat's administration manipulated statistics to downplay COVID deaths in long term care facilities for seniors, a tragedy driven by a disastrous policy he'd implemented.  Critics had been alleging this for months, with some reporting reinforcing the accusation.  Now an official investigation by Cuomo's own Attorney General has confirmed that these fatalities were under-reported by as much as 50 percent.  The governor has responded characteristically, with a torrent of blame shift, dishonesty, and arrogance.  

He yet again pointed the finger of blame at the Trump administration, even though it's not true that the federal government caused New York to create COVID death traps for seniors (and of course nobody besides Cuomo's team is responsible for their subsequent cover-up).  The governor also repeated false talking points about his state's relatively strong statistics -- statistics that have been annihilated by his Attorney General's report.  The probe showed that New York massively under-counted LTC deaths, yet Cuomo is still citing the debunked, bogus data in his pushback.  It's weapons-grade shamelessness.  As a relevant flashback, here's Cuomo lying back in August:

However flawed New York’s count, Cuomo has not been shy about comparing it to tallies in other states. Nearly every time Cuomo is questioned about New York’s nursing home death toll, he brushes off criticism as politically motivated and notes that his state’s percentage of nursing home deaths out of its overall COVID-19 death toll is around 20%, far less than Pennsylvania’s 68%, Massachusetts’ 64% and New Jersey’s 44%. “Look at the basic facts where New York is versus other states,” Cuomo said during a briefing Monday. “You look at where New York is as a percentage of nursing home deaths, it’s all the way at the bottom of the list.” In another briefing last month, he touted New York’s percentage ranking as 35th in the nation. “Go talk to 34 other states first. Go talk to the Republican states now — Florida, Texas, Arizona — ask them what is happening in nursing homes. It’s all politics.”

New York's overall Coronavirus death toll is the highest in America, and the only reason Cuomo's nursing home death toll has appeared to rank decently is because they were deliberately not counting thousands of those deaths. If a resident was infected in a nursing home, their death would only "count" if they died literally inside the facility. If they were transferred to a hospital first, that was not a nursing home death in the eyes of New York State. The purpose of this dishonesty was to manufacture bad statistics to be touted as a means of gaslighting people. Even after getting caught red-handed by his state's Democratic AG, Cuomo is still regurgitating the same discredited nonsense, as if nothing has happened and his stats are legitimate:

The 'who cares?' comment is stunningly callous, with strong 'what difference does it make?' vibes. Also, Cuomo himself obviously cares, which is why the cover-up was dreamed up and instituted in the first place. He knew he'd made a lethally bad call and wanted to mitigate the blowback. If the LTC-specific death toll didn't really matter, he wouldn't have gone through so much trouble to cook the books and mislead people. His performance at the presser above was so disgraceful that even some members of the national media's Cuomo protection brigade couldn't spin it.  Meanwhile, the journalist class' favorite COVID gubernatorial villain, Florida's Ron DeSantis, is reminding people that he took a profoundly different approach to protecting his state's disproportionately high population of elderly citizens.  Watch his answer starting roughly a minute-and-a-half into this interview:

"We focused protection on elderly people rather than trying to shut the entire society down. So at the front end of the pandemic, I barred hospitals from discharging COVID  patients back into nursing homes...and now...our approach to vaccination is putting seniors first."

And on the red hot issue of schools, read this exchange:

Florida has two million more residents than New York, and far more seniors, but currently has roughly 60 percent of New York's deaths.  Florida's economy is in far better shape due to a less restrictive approach and fewer lockdowns, and its schools have been open.  The press has celebrated Cuomo as an extraordinary leader and reviled DeSantis as a reckless demon.  Whose results would you rather have?

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