On Thursday night, after a Democratic lawmaker let slip to The New York Post that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-N.Y.) aide confessed to having lied about COVID-19 nursing home death data — as PJ Media’s Matt Margolis reported — Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, who lost her in-laws in nursing homes from COVID-19, argued that every governor who forced nursing homes to admit COVID-19-positive patients should “go to jail.”
The justifiably outraged Dean summed up the horrific story well.
“We knew the numbers were much bigger than the governor was admitting. So over 15,000 residents died from getting COVID in their nursing homes. They just admitted that they put over 9,000 infected patients into nursing homes. And now the biggest bombshell coming from The New York Post that his secretary, Mellisa DeRosa, admitted that they covered it all up,” she explained.
Fox News host Mark Steyn noted the hypocrisy of governors like Cuomo locking down normal business in their states but “the people who were most vulnerable Andrew Cuomo failed to protect on an horrific scale.”
“Absolutely,” Dean responded, “and it wasn’t just him. There were other governors — other Democratic governors — that did the same thing, putting COVID-positive patients into nursing homes.” She mentioned Govs. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.), Tom Wolf (D-Pa.), Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), and Cuomo.
Steyn noted that one Republican, Gov. Charlie Baker (R-Mass.), allegedly carried out the same horrific policy. He also noted that Cuomo “became a hero to the Left in this country,” and he suggested that Cuomo thinks the scandal “can bounce off him.”
“It can’t, not now. We have an admission,” Dean argued. She concluded her interview by declaring, “I believe all of them should go to jail.”
"I believe all of them should go to jail."@JaniceDean reacts to "biggest bombshell so far" after a @NYGovCuomo aide admitted to nursing home deaths due to COVID being withheld. pic.twitter.com/QVI9TZTk5R
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 12, 2021
Last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation into Cuomo, Murphy, Whitmer, and Wolf, probing whether or not the governors’ policies forcing nursing homes to admit COVID-positive patients had violated the civil rights of nursing home residents. Last June, House Republicans on the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent five letters to the governors of those states and to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), also demanding data on the link between nursing home policy and coronavirus cases.
Each other state issued an order similar to New York’s March 25 directive (California’s came on March 30, Michigan’s on April 15, New Jersey’s on March 31, and Pennsylvania’s on March 18). These orders arguably conflicted with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance that explicitly does “not direct any nursing home to accept a COVID-19 positive patient, if they are unable to do so safely.”
While many states carried out a policy similar to Cuomo’s, the New York governor stands out both because New York City served as the epicenter for the first wave of COVID-19 throughout the U.S. and because President Donald Trump sent a hospital ship, the U.S.N.S. Comfort, to New York specifically to help amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship only had 20 patients as of April 4, when Cuomo’s administration had ordered nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients.
Furthermore, the legacy media deliberately cultivated a narrative that Democrats handled COVID-19 better than Republicans, despite Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-Fla.) stellar record. Legacy media outlets trumpeted Cuomo and Biden while demonizing Trump as a foil. In truth, while Trump did make a few misstatements, the president’s policy achieved a great deal — especially Operation Warp Speed. Meanwhile, Cuomo was covering up the most devastating scandal, and now his aide has confessed to the cover-up.
This cover-up and the legacy media’s complicity in it may have helped swing the 2020 presidential election away from Trump, as voters ranked COVID-19 as one of their highest concerns. Cuomo has a great deal to answer for, as do the media outlets that shamefully buried this story. As Margolis noted, “PJ Media has been calling out Cuomo’s deadly nursing home policy and his cover-up of the policy’s impact since the spring—as have other conservative media outlets. In July, I explained in detail how the cover-up was executed.”
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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.