One of the greatest tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic was the unchecked devastation that went through nursing homes in New York after then-Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed out an executive order that forced them to take COVID-positive patients in March of 2020.
The results were nothing short of catastrophic. It was clear early on what such a policy would do and there has never really been any sort of acceptable explanation as to why he would sign that order. Nonetheless, the fallout was predictable. Tens of thousands of our most vulnerable died from a disease they were exposed to. Cuomo would eventually be forced out of office, though infuriatingly not over this.
Despite the fact that his administration admitted to lying about the elderly deaths to try and cover them up. Most of the media ignored the story until it was too late.
Former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reveals in his new memoir that Cuomo knew what would happen if the disease got into nursing homes. According to Kushner, Cuomo likened it to a “fire through dry grass.”
Relatives of nursing home residents who died following Cuomo’s order told The Post the disclosure heightens their outrage and underscores the need for accountability.
Kushner wrote that Cuomo specifically mentioned possible nursing home horrors in a 30-minute phone call as Kushner helped lead the early White House pandemic response as infections mounted in New York.
In the March 15 call, Cuomo allegedly told Kushner, “For nursing homes, this could be like fire through dry grass.”
Cuomo’s subsequent March 25 order said nursing homes weren’t allowed to turn away patients “solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,” which the families of victims said was a death sentence for vulnerable elderly residents.
We all know what happened as a result.
Cuomo’s controversial nursing home policy remained in effect until May 10 and was intended to ease hospital crowding. Kushner does not go into detail on the nursing home scandal in his nearly 500-page tome, “Breaking History,” which is due out Aug. 23.
The Cuomo administration went on to admittedly cover up the death statistics from nursing homes to impede a federal investigation.
What is so mind-blowing here is that we all knew it was happening, and that despite the horror stories being told and the few stories we did got out of it, there is a whole media complex that largely ignored the story and didn’t pursue it until they could no longer avoid doing so. The number of deaths was too high to ignore, and the admission that he lied was met with disappointment rather than outrage.
No, it was sexual harassment and assault (Note: It is the opinion of this writer that both of these things are also bad) that forced him to resign. He has never truly had to answer for this scandal, and even now he is planning a political comeback, presumably to the cheers of his sycophants in the media.
Why was he so praised to begin with? Because he was the darling of the media in the way he spoke about Donald Trump during the pandemic. He cast himself as a hero and a leader, and the largely New York-based media clapped like the seals they are. And what did we learn from his “leadership”? That everything he did was wrong.
There is something truly perverse about the fact that Cuomo was never held responsible for this scandal in any meaningful sense. He was allowed to continue to operate as governor despite it, and was only forced out when the greater media outrage, the #MeToo movement, came for him. There are thousands of New York families who were affected by his disastrous policies, and they will never receive any sort of justice for it.