The Real Andrew Cuomo Scandal Is Being Ignored

A person places his red painted hands on a poster of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's book as people gather outside of his NYC office to protest against cuts to health care on March 01, 2021 in New York City.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Sexual harassment allegations may be inundating Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) at the moment, but that’s not the biggest scandal he is currently facing.

Another, even bigger scandal surrounds Cuomo, but the media has refused to cover it, choosing instead to focus their efforts throughout the past year on portraying the Democrat Governor as the hero of the pandemic. Over the last twelve months, the only outlets that covered the Cuomo administration’s disastrous nursing home policy were right-leaning, while mainstream media outlets spent their time claiming Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and then-President Donald Trump were the real pandemic villains.

Cuomo’s Health Department issued a mandate on March 25, 2020 telling nursing home facilities in New York that they couldn’t reject COVID-positive patients. The mandate left nursing homes with little to no time to prepare for the incoming patients, and failed to make accommodations for the senior care facilities unable to properly isolate those who’d tested positive.

Cuomo later blamed nursing homes for failing to care for the patients, but the number of low-rated nursing homes was already known to the administration prior to the mandate. Further, it should have been obvious to anyone that forcing sick patients into facilities containing those most vulnerable to the virus was a horrible idea. Yet, the Cuomo administration pushed forward, rescinding the mandate months later, after the damage had already been done, and thousands of elderly New Yorkers had died.

The mainstream media was just starting to cover the nursing home scandal at the end of January, shortly after President Joe Biden was inaugurated. The media spent the previous year lionizing Cuomo, but he was no longer needed with Trump out of office and a Democrat in the White House.

After months of downplaying the story, The New York Times finally reported in late January on New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic. James, a Democrat, determined that “COVID-19 resident deaths associated with nursing homes in New York state appear to be undercounted by DOH by approximately 50 percent.”

That 50% refers to a narrow slice of data — information from 62 hand-selected nursing home facilities and from a time period of just a couple months last spring and summer. As James’ office stated, from “March through August 3, [New York State Department of Health] DOH reported a total of 6,423 resident deaths in nursing homes due to COVID-19, including 3,640 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 2,783 presumed7 COVID-19 deaths.” The data came from New York’s 619 nursing homes, which reported the deaths to DOH.

James’ report, like Cuomo, placed much of the blame for the deaths and lack of reporting on low-rated nursing homes, even though they were known to the state ahead of the mandate. The mandate very likely played a massive role in the state’s failure, which eventually resulted in the death of 14% of New York’s pre-COVID nursing home population, yet Cuomo escaped scrutiny while Trump was in office. Instead, the media showered him with praise, culminating with the Governor winning an Emmy for his coronavirus press conferences. The Ted Kennedy Institute also gave him an award for “inspired leadership.” That “inspired leadership” contributed to the deaths of some 12,000 or more senior citizens that may otherwise have lived were it not for Cuomo’s nursing home policy.

But just as the media was starting to report on Cuomo’s scandal, including the fact that a top aide admitted the governor’s office hid the real number of nursing home deaths to avoid a federal investigation, sexual harassment allegations took the spotlight.

Former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan tweeted in December that the governor had sexually harassed her, and it was covered mildly. When Boylan wrote a post last week on Medium, further detailing her allegations, the media finally showed interest in covering the story. Within days, a second accuser came forward, and then a third, and suddenly the media was all over this scandal.

It’s not hard to see why. The media would rather cover a MeToo scandal than admit it was complicit while Cuomo implemented the worst coronavirus policy in the nation. The media never has to apologize or face consequences for its bad behavior, and switching gears from actual deaths to sexual harassment claims is a welcome change for most mainstream outlets.

It’s sickening, really.