Media won’t pay a price for cheering Cuomo’s COVID policies

Andrew Cuomo is gone, resigning over his sexual-misconduct scandal. But will his departure result in a reassessment of his draconian and irrational COVID-19 policies from a press that fawned over his efficiency? Don’t rely on it.

The media protection revealed that liberal America prefers the authoritarian fashion Cuomo introduced. He knew higher and wasn’t afraid to make use of his place to pressure others to conform. And the media ate it up. People who questioned the necessity for and effectiveness of restrictions and whether or not the federal government had authority to impose them had been derided as right-wing reactionaries.

A New York Times headline blared: “Andrew Cuomo Is the Control Freak We Need Right Now.” Forbes praised Cuomo’s information conferences as “assertive and reassuring, calming and urgent” and gushed that Cuomo was “a truly inspiring leader who brings out the best in us.” The Washington Post, whereas acknowledging that Cuomo was and stays a energy hungry “bully,” praised his assertive, supposedly truthful communications fashion. Rolling Stone’s cowl approving proclaimed, “Andrew Cuomo Takes Charge.”

In what now appears eerily prescient and embarrassing, different papers reported on Cuomo’s intercourse enchantment to ladies and a YouTuber coined the phrase “Cuomosexual.” Cuomo received a profitable e book contract and an Emmy.

A screen shows news coverage of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigning over allegations of sexual harassment, in Times Square on August 10, 2021
A display exhibits information protection of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigning over allegations of sexual harassment, in Times Square on August 10, 2021.
KENA BETANCUR/AFP through Getty Images

Yet a lot of the mainstream media not often questioned the substance of Cuomo’s policies. They barely raised a peep over his disastrous order that from March 25 to May 10, 2020, compelled nursing properties to readmit hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers with out checking in the event that they nonetheless had lively an infection. In reality, the amenities had been instructed that they might not deny admission “based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19” and had been “prohibited” from testing potential admissions for COVID-19.

The Cuomo administration deliberately hid the price of this blunder by falsifying Department of Health studies and stonewalling Freedom of Information Law requests for the variety of nursing-home admissions and deaths that resulted from the coverage for over eight months.

In a leaked recording from Feb. 10, 2021, former Cuomo consigliore Melissa DeRosa admitted to Democratic lawmakers that the administration hid the true numbers of nursing-home deaths for political causes.

The true numbers solely got here out after a Jan. 28, 2021, report from state Attorney General Letitia James — whose current sexual-harassment report led to Cuomo’s resignation — discovered that Cuomo’s DOH had underreported in-facility deaths by as a lot as 19 p.c, and undercounted nursing-facility deaths by 50 p.c.

Shortly afterward, in response to a courtroom order to adjust to FOIL requests, the DOH revealed that greater than 9,000 COVID-19 sufferers had been admitted to nursing amenities pursuant to its March 25 directive — 43 p.c larger than beforehand disclosed — and that about 15,000 nursing-home, assisted-living and different adult-care facility sufferers had died of Covid-19 — a 63 p.c improve over earlier DOH studies.

The press additionally not often questioned Cuomo’s arbitrary, ever-changing policies that imposed among the strictest reopening necessities within the nation. Indeed, the press celebrated stay-at-home and business-closure orders that remained in place far longer than in different states.

Demonstrators gather for a rally decrying New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's handling of nursing homes during the COVID-19 outbreak, Thursday, March 25, 2021
Demonstrators collect for a rally decrying New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s dealing with of nursing properties in the course of the COVID-19 outbreak, Thursday, March 25, 2021.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

Yet Empire state COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants (excluding New York City) aren’t any decrease that per-capita deaths in Florida and Texas, two states that Cuomo relentlessly criticized for lax lockdown policies, and New York City deaths are greater than twice as excessive. Cuomo’s draconian policies destroyed small companies statewide and worn out New York City eating places.

Throughout the pandemic, Cuo­mo, with the press’ enthusiastic endorsement, repeatedly criticized conservative governors and former President Donald Trump for their pandemic responses. But each he and the press had been remarkably uncurious about Cuomo’s personal failings. Cuomo was simply doing what he has at all times completed and what we now know he did to many ladies — appearing like a robust man who used intimidation and worry to get his manner. But the press has no excuse.

Joel Zinberg, M.D., is a senior fellow on the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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