“That’s stupid; next question,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week told a reporter who’d asked him to respond to criticism that his $5.1 million book deal came on the backs of dead elderly New Yorkers. Is he losing it?
After all, he answered another question: “Yes, people died, people died, from COVID. . . . Eighteen people died yesterday. Who is to blame? Who is to blame? How do you want to politicize 18 deaths of yesterday?”
The issue, of course, is that Team Cuomo last March ordered nursing homes to admit COVID-contagious patients that hospitals wanted to dump — and, when people started asking about it, began a months-long coverup of the true extent of nursing-home COVID deaths.
Meanwhile, Cuomo was negotiating that book deal and then writing the tome, all with likely illegal assistance from top staff who were also busy suppressing the care-home death toll, news of which might have derailed the deal. (Indeed, when the truth came out, sales of the book tanked — too late for the publisher to get its money back.)
It’s not just those who lost loved ones in the homes who should be outraged: This is a vast betrayal of the public trust for personal profit. Yet all the gov can do is rage at anyone who suggests otherwise.
But that’s been his approach all along. After state Attorney General Letitia James’ damning report blew the lid off the coverup in January, a visibly peeved Cuomo vented, “Who cares [if they] died in the hospital, died in a nursing home? They died” — refusing to even acknowledge that the question is about how many died needlessly because of his order.
All along, too, he has tried to blame the feds — falsely claiming the March order simply followed federal guidance (it didn’t: most states issued nothing like his order), rather than the pleas of the state hospital lobby, which has donated massively to his campaigns, and also falsely indicating that the coverup was an effort to avoid persecution by the Trump Justice Department (even though the Cuomoites started hiding the truth months before Justice came knocking).
Luckily for him, his pal Speaker Carl Heastie is stalling the Assembly’s impeachment investigation, loading it up with a host of extraneous issues while denying it meaningful funding — even though the facts already in the public record on the nursing-home/book-deal scandal justify removing him from office.
On the other hand, The Post learned that FBI investigators have interviewed the chairman of the state Senate Health Committee, Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), and Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) over the nursing-home coverup. So much for Trump persecution: The Biden Justice Department may wind up prosecuting him.
And he has yet to show a hint of shame: Cuomo is plainly bent on lying and raging all the way to the inevitably ignominious end of his political career.