24 THE QUEENS COURIER • FEBRUARY 25, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
The Trumpian playbook
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JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
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Story: Chick-fi l-A to open fi rst stand-alone location
in Jackson Heights
Summary: Chick-fi l-A will open a new location in
Jackson Heights in February.
Reach: 32,172 (as of 02/22/21)
Andrew Cuomo has accomplished much
during his 10+ years as governor, from
boosting reinvestment in the Empire State to
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
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 fi lled 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.
Th e 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?
Th at 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 defl ect from the problems in his
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.
QNS fi le photos
(From l. to r.) Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assemblyman Ron Kim and Mayor Bill de Blasio.