The Corner

Politics & Policy

Cuomo’s Deadly Mistake Was Likely Even Worse Than First Reported

Governor Andrew Cuomo wears a mask as he arrives to speak during a daily coronavirus briefing in New York, July 13, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Yesterday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed an executive order forcing nursing homes in his state to accept patients who tested positive for the coronavirus in March, informed reporters there was no need for an independent inquiry into his deadly mistake because no one can be deemed reliable enough to investigate him.

“There is no such thing as a person who is trusted by all Democrats and Republicans. That person doesn’t exist. The Department of Health — those are just numbers. They report our numbers. You can see you what you want in the numbers, but the numbers are the numbers,” Cuomo explained.

Well, using this preposterous logic, no politician could ever be investigated for wrongdoing in the United States. Fortunately, the Associated Press released its own investigation today into the Cuomo scandal and found that it was likely New York had significantly undercounted the deaths resulting from the governor’s mishandling of the elderly at the height of the coronavirus outbreak.

Numbers, it turns out, aren’t always numbers. Unlike other states with major outbreaks, New York’s fatality numbers only include residents who died on nursing-home property, and not the thousands of patients who caught the disease in homes but were transported and ultimately died elsewhere. While the state estimates that around 6,600 perished in nursing homes, the Associated Press puts the real number closer to 11,000 — more than the total fatality count in any state other than New Jersey.

It might even be worse. The Associated Press — which should be praised as one of the only major outlets pursuing this story — has been denied access to New York’s nursing-home death data despite filing public records request three months ago. You might remember all the conspiracy theories that liberal pundits were spreading about Florida’s “manipulated” numbers in May. Here we are in August, and Cuomo, the governor who couldn’t flatten the curve, is now also stonewalling and hiding his state’s death toll.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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