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Finally: The Cuomo Scandal Explodes

AP Photo/John Minchillo

As you've been reading last night and today, the dam has finally broken on Andrew Cuomo's nursing home cover-up.  On one hand, it's extremely frustrating because large media organizations that have acted as shameless boosters of the guy for the better part of a year are only now getting around to acknowledging long-available truths -- now that election season is over, that is.  Despite an ongoing scandal, about which we we've been shouting for months, Joe Biden hailed Cuomo's leadership as a "model" for the nation during the Democratic National Convention.  Many in the press played along as Cuomo went on his morally-warped book tour, helping him sell his ludicrous declaration of victory, even if some privately winced.  Now that Democrats are safely in charge, with Biden settling into the presidency, the sordid reality of Cuomo's failures can finally become 'a thing.'  That's very much what the timing suggests.


Nevertheless, it's very gratifying.  Cuomo is a bully who has been willing himself and those around him to embrace the insulting hype he's generated for himself.  His goons have pilloried critics, including grieving family members.  Complaints about the obvious corruption on nursing home death counts were largely relegated to the conservative press ghetto, where they could be safely ignored.  Even an Associated Press bombshell was generally overlooked.  There were elections to be won, and many journalists probably have misgivings of hurting their team during a high-stakes campaign season.  But Cuomo now feels more expendable.  And the damage is coming from inside his own partisan house.  We told you about his own Attorney General's report that found a massive undercount of COVID deaths in New York long term care facilities like nursing homes.  And in case you missed it, it now appears as though a Democrat leaked a shocking confession to the New York Post:

The stunning admission of a coverup was made by secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting...In addition to attacking Cuomo’s fellow Democratic governors, DeRosa said, Trump “directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us.” “And basically, we froze,” she told the lawmakers on the call. “Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.” DeRosa added: “That played a very large role into this.”


Their timeline is still incorrect, but here's your loose translation: Cuomo didn't want to give any ammunition to the critics who were accurately attacking him for his terrible decision to force thousands of COVID-positive people into nursing homes, thus creating death traps for vulnerable seniors (more on that in a moment). Cuomo wanted to deny Trump the ability to score those points, and didn't want federal investigators to have ugly statistics to look into, so the real data was suppressed. The governor publicly touted the faked "good" numbers, pretending that New York was outperforming nearby states. New York was doing no such thing; the books were cooked, for reasons of political advantage and corruption. And the only apparent contrition is, appropriately enough, partisan in nature:

After dropping the bombshell, DeRosa asked for “a little bit of appreciation of the context” and offered what appears to be the Cuomo administration’s first apology for its handling of nursing homes amid the pandemic. But instead of a mea culpa to the grieving family members of more than 13,000 dead seniors or the critics who say the Health Department spread COVID-19 in the care facilities with a March 25 state Health Department directive that nursing homes admit infected patients, DeRosa tried to make amends with the fellow Democrats for the political inconvenience it caused them. “So we do apologize,” she said. “I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair. It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans.” Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) immediately rejected DeRosa’s expression of remorse, according to the recording. “I don’t have enough time today to explain all the reasons why I don’t give that any credit at all,” said Gottfried, one of the lawmakers who demanded the death-toll data in August.

It's pure politics, all the way down. And they're so blind, they don't realize how sociopathic this sounds -- even to their fellow partisans, several of whom are quoted as blasting the "apology." One lawmaker said it sounded like "they admitted that they were trying to dodge having any incriminating evidence that might put the administration or the [Health Department] in further trouble with the Department of Justice.”  That's exactly right.  Cuomo's aide said so.  Meanwhile, the Associated Press is out with another story quadruple-confirming the cover-up that right-leaning media outlets have been flagging for months.  I guess now the important people can finally decide to pay attention and profess their outrage:

The flurry of new disclosures began last month after state Attorney General Letitia James, a fellow Democrat, issued a blistering report accusing the administration of underreporting its long-term care deaths by more than 50%. That was consistent with an AP report from August that focused on the fact that New York is one of the only states that counts just those who died on nursing home property and not those who died after being transported to hospitals. Under heavy pressure to change its methodology, New York began issuing reports in recent weeks that added thousands more to its long-term care death toll since March. The new data also confirmed that COVID-19 deaths at some nursing homes are double or more what had been previously reported.

Will there be any actual accountability here? Angry quotes from some elected Democrats suggest that fissures in their coalition are opening up, as they recognize that this scandal can no longer be contained by duct tape and spin. It's bad, and they know it. And while the Janice Dean's of the world are at least feeling some true vindication, will there be widespread introspection within the media class for obsequious coverage like this?

And what about this?  Washington Republicans were often ridiculed in the press for averting their eyes from Trump tweets and declining to comment.  Any thoughts on the giant COVID-death-cover-up situation in one of America's biggest blue states, Chuck and Nancy?  Still excited about the New York "model," Joe?

Or is Biden now part of the cover-up?


Editor's Note: We've been telling the truth about Gov. Andrew Cuomo's disastrous and deadly nursing home scandal since day one.

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