Fox News Channel meteorologist Janice Dean announced she has filed official inquiries with the state of New York to find out if Chris Cuomo plotted with the governor’s staff to discredit “this Fox weather b***h” after she highlighted the deadly effects of the state’s COVID-19 policies on nursing home patients.
Dean, whose husband lost both his parents to COVID-19 inside long-term care facilities, became an indefatigable opponent of Governor Andrew Cuomo (D)’s edict forcing nursing homes to admit patients who tested positive for COVID-19.
Sources told the New York Post late Friday that then-CNN host Chris Cuomo sent a text message to his brother’s secretary, Melissa DeRosa, saying that he wanted to go after “this Fox weather b***h……Any help painting her as a far right crazy?”
Dean told “Fox and Friends” host Brian Kilmeade on Monday morning that she was “not surprised at all, because early on I heard from a good source, who knows the family very well, to watch my back. This was before any of the real press coverage, the hundreds of op-eds I wrote, all of the appearances that I did on Fox News. He told me ‘watch your back.’”
Dean said ad hominem attacks and smear campaigns are the Cuomo family’s modus operandi. “This is how these guys react,” Dean said. “They don’t try to solve anything: They just attack the person that’s coming after them.”
Dean announced she is filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests “to find out if my name or my family’s name is in any of those official documents, because I want to know if there was a smear campaign against me.”
She said she also wondered if any of Chris Cuomo’s media-stifling communications appeared “on CNN letterhead.”
Dean had typically restricted her on-air comments to the weather until last year, after Governor Cuomo required nursing homes to admit patients who tested positive for COVID-19, then reportedly covered up the ensuing death toll.
On March 25, 2020, Cuomo issued a directive stating, “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.” Other Democratic governors —including Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan), Tom Wolf (Pennsylvania), and Phil Murphy (New Jersey) — enacted similar measures.
While the Cuomo administration originally announced only 6,600 nursing home deaths from the virus, the Department of Health released revised figures in February stating more than 15,000 people died from COVID-19 in nursing homes and other related facilities. That accounts for more than 14% of New York’s “pre-pandemic nursing home population,” according to The Empire Center, the state’s free-market, nonpartisan think tank.
The figure includes Dean’s father-in-law, 83-year-old Mickey Newman — who died in Brooklyn’s Grandell Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on March 29, 2020 — and her mother-in-law, 79-year-old Dee Newman who died on April 13, 2020, at the Long Island Living Center.
Governor Cuomo resigned in the face of mounting sexual harassment allegations, while CNN fired Chris Cuomo for his role in helping his brother cover up the allegations, as well as a separate legal complaint that Chris had also committed sexual harassment.
Fox News said that Chris Cuomo has refused comment on the latest allegations, but the family has denied that they tried to smear Dean, who has been seen as an effective opponent. As The Daily Wire reported:
A spokesperson for the governor named Rich Azzopardi denied these allegations, saying, “We had no ‘strategy sessions’ about Janice Dean and to the extent that the press office had to respond to something she said, it was handled by the press office and did not rise to the level of something the governor would be engaged with.”
Earlier this year, Azzopardi himself tried to “discredit” Dean after being asked about her efforts to expose COVID-19 malpractice in the Empire State. “Last I checked [Dean is] not a credible source on anything except maybe the weather,” he told media.
Azzopardi later told CNBC, “I have no knowledge of this ever happening and you must ask, why then did the [New York state] Attorney General [Letitia James] not put anything about it in her report or ask any of the relevant people about it?”
“I already know the answer to that,” Dean said on Monday morning. “The report was about sexual harassment, not about nursing homes.”
“No one’s denying anything, by the way,” Dean noted.
She said that Rich Azzopardi, “Cuomo’s henchman,” personally attacked “not only me but my sister-in-law on Twitter, saying ‘get a life’ and called us a ‘death cult.’ So, this was already in motion.”
Dean vowed over the weekend to continue to demand a reckoning over the lives cost by Governor Cuomo’s COVID-19 order. “The story for me has always been about trying to find answers and accountability as to what happened in New York nursing homes in the spring of 2020 and why Cuomo and his administration tried to cover it up,” Dean wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “It’s a shame that many tried to dig up information to try and demean me through my profession (‘weather girl’) where I work (Fox News) and who I voted for. Sadly, it wasn’t just the Cuomo team, but blue checks and reporters scouring through tweets and articles I’ve written in the past to support their own beliefs and a political narrative.”
“This won’t stop my mission on behalf of thousands of families, but it has opened my eyes to how the powerful will do anything to protect themselves, those around them, and to what lengths they will go to silence the people who question their motivations and deadly decisions,” she concluded.
The story for me has always been about trying to find answers and accountability as to what happened in New York nursing homes in the spring of 2020 and why Cuomo and his administration tried to cover it up. It’s a shame that many tried to dig up information to try and demean
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) December 12, 2021
This won’t stop my mission on behalf of thousands of families, but it has opened my eyes to how the powerful will do anything to protect themselves, those around them, and to what lengths they will go to silence the people who question their motivations and deadly decisions.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) December 12, 2021
Dean noted Monday that Andrew Cuomo has never faced any consequences for his actions exposing vulnerable senior citizens to COVID-infected patients.
“I’m going to continue to hold these people accountable,” Dean said.
You can watch the full segment below.
— Brian Kilmeade (@kilmeade) December 13, 2021
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.