Liberal networks CNN and MSNBC continued to protect embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday night, completely ignoring the latest news on the Democratic governor’s growing nursing home scandal during primetime.
A top Cuomo aide to told leading state Democratic lawmakers that the administration had withheld data on COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes to avoid federal scrutiny, according to a bombshell New York Post report. The revelation prompted condemnations and even talk of impeachment in Albany, the state’s capital. Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., wants the Department of Justice to open an obstruction of justice investigation. However, CNN and MSNBC didn’t feel it was newsworthy enough to crack their primetime coverage.
A search of transcripts found that the words “nursing homes” and “Andrew Cuomo” weren’t uttered once on Thursday night during the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. on CNN or MSNBC.
Cuomo emerged as a star of the liberal media during the coronavirus pandemic, winning awards and even writing a book for the way he handled the situation. Along the way, CNN and other mainstream outlets gave him as pass on the nursing home scandal that resulted in thousands of dead New Yorkers.
Cuomo famously directed nursing homes in the Empire State to accept patients who had or were suspected of having COVID-19. The decision created an onslaught of COVID-19 cases that infected thousands of elderly patients and resulted in hundreds of deaths among the state’s most vulnerable population. He eventually reversed the decision – but thousands had died from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes before Cuomo reversed course.
Cuomo’s kid brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, was widely ridiculed for a series of interviews in which they joked around and teased each other while the “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake largely avoided tough questions. During one shameful interview that has become infamous among media circles, the Cuomo siblings essentially treated CNN viewers to a prop comedy routine at the height of the nursing home crisis as Americans wanted answers.
CNN’s Cuomo finally mentioned the nursing home controversy to his brother after ignoring it during at least 10 on-air interviews since the scandal began, but Cuomo quickly pointed to how there were nursing home deaths “all across the country” and said “we have to figure out how to do it better the next time” before the next virus wave occurs.
At the end of the interview, the CNN anchor showered the governor with praise as New York’s leader and even admitted to his viewers, “Of course, I’m not objective,” while expressing his love for his brother.
It appears the governor, who his younger brother sometimes adoringly refers to as the “Love Gov,” had a good reason to avoid any tough questions related to the state’s nursing home debacle.
The Post first reported that Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, told leading Empire State Democrats that the administration feared the data could “be used against us” by the Justice Department during a video conference call.
The DOJ began investigating nursing home coronavirus deaths in four states back in August – and New York was one of them.
“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,” DeRosa told the lawmakers, according to the Post report.
News of the call sparked outrage among state Republicans and other critics of Cuomo’s conduct already incensed over his March 25 directive that ordered thousands of virus-infected seniors back into assisted-living facilities, nursing homes and other long-term care locations.
“The second most powerful person in state government and top aide to Gov. Cuomo admitted on video to the premeditated and willful violation of state laws and what clearly amounts to federal obstruction of justice,” said state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy. “Andrew Cuomo has abused his power and destroyed the trust placed in the office of governor. Prosecution and impeachment discussions must begin right away.”
Despite the tough talk from Langworthy, primetime hosts including MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and Lawrence O’Donnell didn’t bother to discuss the situation. CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon joined the governor’s brother in ignoring it on CNN, too.