Gov. Andrew Cuomo Clings To His Pedestal
Reason magazine|May 2021
A year ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was a pandemic hero.
By Billy Binion

As of this writing, he is clinging to his job as calls to step down crescendo within his own party. Several women allege the Democratic governor sexually harassed them—a particularly inconvenient situation for Cuomo, considering he has publicly positioned himself as a champion for women in the #MeToo era.

The accusations deserve to be taken seriously. But they should not be considered the biggest scandal Cuomo faces. That distinction goes to his pandemic related job performance, which resulted in so many unnecessary deaths in his state that he appears to have felt the need to obscure the record from the public. “PEOPLE VALUE THE truth,” Cuomo said in a January interview on MSNBC. “Incompetent government kills people. More people died than needed to die [of] COVID.”

Two days after that interview, New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed that the Cuomo administration had covered up the actual number of New Yorkers who died from the coronavirus as a result of Cuomo’s order requiring nursing homes to admit elderly COVID-19 patients. “COVID-19 resident deaths associated with nursing homes in New York state appear to be undercounted by [the Department of Health] by approximately 50 percent,” the report said.

According to James’ investigation, Cuomo’s administration had counted patients who contracted COVID-19 in a nursing home but died in a hospital as hospital rather than nursing home deaths. At one nursing home facility, the DOH had recorded only seven COVID-19 deaths as of August 3. But by April 18—nearly four months earlier—that same facility had reported 31 suspected COVID-19 deaths to the Office of the Attorney General. Suddenly, Cuomo changed his tune.

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