Andrew Cuomo has accomplished much during
his 10+ years as governor, from boosting reinvestment
in the Empire State to rebuilding infrastructure.
But the scandal over the reporting of COVID-19
deaths in nursing homes across New York threatens
to be Cuomo’s Waterloo.
And like the scandal itself, that downfall is largely
Last week, the governor admitted that the administration
failed state lawmakers in delaying reporting
on COVID-19 nursing home deaths while insisting
that it complied with the federal government’s request
for such data. He acknowledged that it helped create
an information “void” that wound up being filled with
conspiracy theories and political attacks from his
opponents. Cuomo’s admission did not come with an
apology, nor was it accompanied by a commitment to
allow a full and impartial investigation. The governor
said his administration, in his opinion, didn’t believe
“there’s anything to clear here.”
Much as we want to take him at his word, we also
believe in the old Russian maxim that Ronald Reagan
made famous in America: “Trust, but verify.”
What’s the harm, then, in Cuomo expressing an
openness to an independent investigation of the matter?
That admission and resistance only led to further
scrutiny over the scandal from lawmakers like Queens
Assemblyman Ron Kim, who has been critical of the
governor’s handling of nursing home deaths since the
spring — and who was the subject of Cuomo’s wrath on
a conference call with reporters last week.
Kim says the governor called him at home last week
and berated him while demanding that he retract his
critical statements about the withholding of nursing
home data — an accusation which Cuomo’s senior adviser,
Rich Azzopardi, vehemently denied.
But then Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has had a rivalry
with Cuomo almost from the start of his term at
City Hall, sprung to Kim’s defense Monday on national
television. He condemned the governor’s behavior,
calling it “classic Andrew Cuomo.”
Is this any way to run a state? To have a governor at
war with lawmakers of his own party to deflect from the
problems in his own house? It’s downright Trumpian.
All throughout the pandemic, we heard Cuomo
reject the politics of the former president. He was 100
percent correct in doing so.
How tragic that he now borrows from Trump’s terrible
playbook when all New Yorkers want is accountability
and the truth.
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo (l.) has been feuding with Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim (r.). QNS fi le photos