News and Commentary

Fox News’ Janice Dean Rips Gov. Cuomo Over Nursing Home Order: ‘As Weak As They Come’
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Janice Dean presents on "Fox & Friends" at Fox News Channel Studios on November 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)
Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean ripped New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for avoiding responsibility and deflecting blame for the monstrous toll the coronavirus has wrought on his state’s elderly population.

Dean’s father-in-law Sean Newman and mother-in-law Dee Newman were moved into a New York nursing home shortly before the outbreak of the virus in mid-March. Both contracted and died from the coronavirus while in their adult care facility. Dean and her husband were barred from visiting the elderly couple for weeks before their deaths and were prevented from honoring them with a funeral after.

The meteorologist has placed responsibility for her in-laws’ lonely suffering and deaths squarely on Cuomo for a March order he signed forcing long-term care facilities to accept thousands of coronavirus-positive patients, introducing the disease to dozens of facilities and potentially furthering the virus’ spread in hundreds of others.

“At first, we didn’t blame anyone for their deaths. This is a pandemic, and the virus is particularly dangerous for the elderly. Then we learned about the Cuomo administration’s March 25 order that recovering coronavirus patients be placed into nursing homes,” Dean wrote in a USA Today op-ed published on Wednesday. “The mandate also barred nursing homes from requiring incoming patients ‘to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.’”

“That order stayed in effect for 46 days during which time over 6,000 patients with the virus were placed into these facilities housing our most vulnerable. To date, at least 6,500 of our most helpless seniors have been killed by the virus. Even the governor himself said the virus could sweep though nursing homes ‘like fire through dry grass,’” Dean continued.

Cuomo declared a major victory in his state’s ongoing fight against the coronavirus since New York reported no deaths from the disease in one day on July 12, the first time since March. He played up the data point with a poster that has since sparked a backlash as New York remains the hardest-hit state in the United States.

Despite New York’s high case and fatality numbers, Cuomo claims that many people now consider his state to be “safe” from the virus. The governor claimed earlier this week that people are moving to New York to escape the virus in other states. And while Cuomo’s approval rating has fallen amid the backlash from his nursing home scandal, he is still enjoying a relatively high approval rating of 66% among adults across the state.

Dean asserts that the tide is turning against the governor, however, as New York state lawmakers demand an independent investigation into his handling of nursing homes.

“The fact that this governor refuses to accept responsibility for his actions makes our grief and anger far worse. I know I speak for many when I say we need a non-partisan investigation on both the state and federal level so that this never happens again,” Dean writes. “This should not be about politics. It’s about accountability for what happened to our parents and grandparents, who trusted us to look out for them.”

“My in-laws Mickey and Dee Newman were New York tough. The governor? He’s as weak as they come,” she concludes.

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