Once lauded as a pandemic hero, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is now beset by scandal and being hounded by Democrats and Republicans alike to resign. What better time for a newspaper to step in and defend the indefensible?
The past few weeks have been rough for Andrew Cuomo. He’s been accused of sexual misconduct by five different women, and the FBI and New York prosecutors are investigating his March 2020 order which sent Covid-19 patients into nursing homes. Cuomo is accused of then attempting to hide the true scale of nursing home deaths, which came to more than 15,000.
Amid the twin scandals, Cuomo has been stripped of his emergency powers, thrown under the bus by previously supportive media outlets, and may soon be impeached by Republican lawmakers, if he refuses to heed the calls from his own party to resign.
Enter the New York Daily News. In a terribly-received article published on Monday, writer Linda Stasi argued that New Yorkers shouldn’t let “scandals distract from pandemic competence.”
For Stasi, the “scandals” in question are the “unproven” allegations of sexual harassment, and not the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing-home residents, which aren’t mentioned once in the article. Stasi instead praises Cuomo’s “mandates, measures, closures and the systematic vaccine rollout” for bringing New York’s 31 percent testing positivity rate last Spring down to one percent by October, and lauds him for standing “up to the biggest bully in the country, former President Donald Trump” – a stance that saw him wrangle thousands of ventilators from the federal government, many of which went unused.
Reaction was swift and brutal. “No mention of 15,000 seniors who died because of her hero’s nursing home order. No mention of his lying, stonewalling, cover-up. No mention of the grieving families. This piece is the equivalent of showing your bare ass in public for attention,” Fox reporter Dagen McDowell tweeted.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) March 9, 2021
New York’s handling of COVID-19 was the epitome of disaster. There was nothing competent about his pseudoscientific and totalitarian policies over the past year. https://t.co/OHevKRfXrF
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) March 9, 2021
His failed leadership led to the deaths of 15,000 people and he’s accused by 5 different women of sexual harassment in the work place.It’s the literal definition of incompetence. https://t.co/JPIN5cOKRs
— Brendon Leslie (@BrendonLeslie) March 9, 2021
Bar Stasi and Cuomo’s aides retweeting her article, the governor has few defenders left on his side. The publishing company behind his book, ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic,’ said on Monday that it would stop promoting the self-congratulating title in light of the nursing homes investigations, and that it had no plans to reprint the book or reissue it in paperback format.
The few readers who picked up a copy were treated to a defense of the nursing homes policy, in which Cuomo described criticism of it as a Repulican “offense to distract from the narrative of their botched federal response,” which was “totally defeated” by “the facts.”
New York has recorded more than 1.7 million cases of Covid-19, the fourth-highest of all 50 states. The Empire State has also recorded just under 49,000 deaths, the second-highest tally in the country.
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