Where Was CNN While COVID -- or Cuomo -- Was Killing New York's Elderly?

A piece published Thursday by CNN’s Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza brings up the soul-wrenching possibility that “Andrew Cuomo’s Covid-19 performance may have been less stellar than it seemed.”


When did it ever seem stellar, one might ask? Well, if the only media diet one had was CNN, and the only thought process one had was pure belief of the putrid propaganda proffered through the boob tube, one could be excused for believing Cuomo’s performance was stellar. Cillizza’s piece asks us to consider the possibility that the best-selling author might have been fibbing just a bit when he wrote the book about the lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cillizza sets the stage by stating what he sees as the difference between Trump as “the public face of the failed government response” and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the hero/foil at the beginning of the pandemic:

The New York governor’s daily coronavirus briefings became must-see TV as Cuomo, in his characteristic “I’m-walking-here” patois, delivered updates on the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the Empire State and provided insight into how he and his administration were working to combat the virus.

It was, for many, a refreshing palate cleanser from the obfuscation, spin and denialism that defined how Trump and his administration responded to the virus through the spring and summer of 2020.

I’m sorry. His “I’m-walking-here” patois? Would that be the patois Cuomo exhibited when he berated a reporter who dared ask him a fair question about the micro-cluster focus zones he had arbitrarily enacted in New York City? The patois he exhibited when a mainstream reporter said he had a “mental breakdown” answering a simple question? Yes, that patois. (Also, if you use the word “patois” unironically you abdicate your right to mock any other journalist. Sorry, but those are the rules.)


According to Cillizza, those daily coronavirus briefings were, as our Alex Parker might say, steamy:

And it made Cuomo into the hottest politician in America. Eight in 10 New Yorkers approved of how he was handling the virus.

Hottest politician? Ew. I just had a mental image of my grandmother’s face as she watched “Magnum, P.I.,” and it made me nauseous. (Sorry, Gramie — hope you’re taking care of things up there in Heaven.)

Did New Yorkers approve of his handling because they were watching CNN, and Chris Cuomo engaging in jovial foreplay with his older brother? Or because they followed the gossip rags’ endless speculation about Andrew Cuomo’s potential nipple piercing? Or because they had no idea what was really happening because the lapdog press wasn’t doing its job?

The correct answer is C, as Cillizza grudgingly admits:

Well, it turns out that all the hype obscured a troubling reality: That the New York State Department of Health was drastically undercounting deaths from Covid-19 among nursing home residents.

NO. WAY. It’s like Janice Dean opined all along.

That’s at least according to a new report released by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who (like Cuomo) is a Democrat.

Quite the caveat.

And, by the way, here are some actual figures from our Nick Arama:

The official nursing home count right now is 8,711 but this news could push it to more than 13,000 based on the report’s survey of 62 nursing homes that found there was an undercount by an average of 56 percent.


Of course, Cillizza doesn’t mention the numbers. Perhaps, like California Gov. Gavin Newsom, he thinks numbers will simply confuse people.

There’s much we still don’t know. But here’s something we do know: Should James’ report be borne out, it would occasion a serious reexamination of Cuomo’s performance during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When “serious” is in italics, you know it’s really serious. Like, super serial. Really, this topic is much too serious to joke about, and while it seems that I’m joking, I’m truly not. Any satire is directed at Cillizza, who seems astounded by a report questioning Andrew Cuomo’s leadership.


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