New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was the toast of the media for his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
He was rumored as a possible VP choice for Joe Biden, or maybe even landing at the top of the ticket if Biden faltered before solidifying the nomination.
He was given an Emmy for his virus briefings, wrote a best-selling book on his leadership during the pandemic, and carried an astronomical approval rating even as his state performed near the bottom in many metrics.
All the while, however, conservative media kept noting that Cuomo treated citizens like subjects and had done little to move New York from near the top spot of America’s deadliest states.
But suddenly – and not so ironically after Biden became president – the bloom is off the Cuomo rose.
First, left-wing Democratic state Attorney General Letitia James issued a shocking report saying that the administration severely undercounted nursing home deaths, perhaps by as much as 50 percent.
Then, at the beginning of February, his back-watching buddies at The New York Times reported on how Cuomo ignored his top public health advisers, forcing them to resign for feeling “sidelined and treated disrespectfully,” because he cut his own path on vaccinations.
Now, on Thursday, came a report that one of Cuomo’s top aides told state Democratic lawmakers that the administration hid the true number of nursing home deaths when asked in an effort to thwart the Trump administration.
According to the New York Post, Melissa DeRosa, who served as secretary to the governor, told the Democrats during a private call that Trump “starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes. He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”
And then he “directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us.” she added.
“And basically, we froze.”
Continuing, DeRosa told the lawmakers, “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.”
“That played a very large role into this” – meaning the cover-up.
The Post noted that DeRosa did offer an apology.
“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,” the article reported.
Some Democrats were not so ready to let Cuomo off the hook, though.
Assemblyman Ron Kim told the Post, “It’s not enough how contrite they are with us. They need to show that to the public and the families — and they haven’t done that.”