Cuomo ducked press demands for nursing-home mortality data throughout 2020, even as every other state made the information public. While New York admitted to about 7,000 nursing home deaths, informed estimates put the real count at around 12,000; the state refused to confirm the numbers. Last month, Attorney General Letitia James released a report acknowledging that the real death toll was close to 13,000. In reaction to this news, Cuomo snapped, “Who cares? 33 [percent], 28 [percent]. Died in a hospital. Died in a nursing home. They died.”
What this episode reveals is Andrew Cuomo’s massive egotism. He was elevated by a fawning national media into a preposterously salvific role last spring and summer. Throughout the course of the pandemic, the governor gave daily televised briefings in which he hailed his own performance as a beacon of leadership. Cuomo delivered such apothegms as, “It’s going to be hard, there is no doubt. But at the same time it is going to be OK.” He also made a point, continuously, of calling the novel coronavirus the “European virus,” presumably in counterpoint to Trump’s calling it the “China virus,” though it is widely recognized that the virus originated in China, even if some infected people may have caught it in Italy before bringing it to America.
Author(s): Seth Barron
Publication Date: 12 February 2021
Publication Site: City Journal