For months now, Dr. Anthony Fauci has been singing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s praises on his handling of the pandemic crisis in New York state.
Back in July, Fauci – who at the time was the director of the NIAID and one of the more prominent members of President Trump’s coronavirus task force – told PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff that when it came to managing the crisis, Gov. Cuomo “did it correctly“:
“We know that, when you do [testing] properly, you bring down those cases. We have done it. We have done it in New York. New York got hit worse than any place in the world. And they did it correctly by doing the things that you’re talking about.”
It was an especially perplexing answer considering Cuomo’s nursing home scandal had been reported on by conservative websites like this one and MSM outlets like the NY Post and the AP for a good three months prior to interview. In addition to that, the NY Times and ProPublica did some investigative reporting on Cuomo’s handling of the outbreak, noting that the turf wars between Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in the early days of the pandemic set the stage for the devastation that would come in the state.
A month after the presidential election and as Fauci was preparing to become Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, he and Cuomo even appeared together during a virtual press conference, where Fauci once again praised the governor and endorsed his pandemic plan.
Fast forward a couple of months and a lot has changed. Cuomo’s chickens are coming home to roost, with the nation’s so-called “Luv Guv” in the hot seat over his state’s deceptive reporting on the number of nursing home deaths, the order he gave that forced nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients in the first place, and his administration’s admission that they deliberately withheld nursing home death data from state legislators.
With all of that in mind, CNN’s Jim Sciutto asked Fauci in a Tuesday interview about the deadly nursing home order Cuomo issued on March 25, 2020. “He’s argued that his state was following federal guidelines when he ordered those long-term care facilities to accept patients returning from hospitals,” Sciutto pointed out. “I wonder, can you clear that up? Was he actually following federal guidelines to do that?”
Suddenly, the guy who had lavished praise on Cuomo in the past clammed up. “You know, Jim, I can’t,” Fauci answered. “I mean, I’m sorry. I’m really … I’m honestly not trying to evade your question, but I’m not really sure of all the details of that, and I think if I make a statement, it probably could either be incorrect or taken out of context. So, I prefer not to comment on that.”
Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean, who lost her both of her in-laws in a nursing home and assisted living facility after Cuomo’s March order, had but one word for Fauci after watching the interview: “Coward”:
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) February 17, 2021
I can’t think of a more fitting word to describe Fauci’s response. I mean why would a guy who previously could not say enough good things about Andrew Cuomo suddenly want to refrain from comment on him once his house of cards started to fall?
I think the answers are obvious, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out.