Expert Praises Cuomo as he Tries to Avoid Investigation

Delta News Hub via Wikimedia Commons

Over the last few months, America’s Pandemic Czar Anthony Fauci has given contradictory and sometimes inexplicable advice to the government and the public on how best to halt the spread of the Coronavirus. The Director of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is obviously enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame and can generally be found not in his laboratory but in front of any television camera he can find.

He first downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic and then hyped the threat it posed, arguing that it could prove as devastating as the World War I era “Spanish Flu” that killed fifty to a hundred million people. He has argued that masks are and aren’t important and usually seem to be playing to whatever audience he’s addressing at the moment. He has “thumbed up” a reporter who gave President Trump a hard time while standing on the same stage with the President, but neither he, his friends, or his critics have been able to explain just why he appeared on PBS in July to argue that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has done the single best job of leading during the pandemic.

Cuomo imposed a strict lockdown on the Empire State which virtually destroyed the state’s economy while doing little to thwart the spread of the virus. Long before Fauci began singing Cuomo’s praises, it was clear that the elderly are the most vulnerable among us to infection and death. Fauci had to know that ordering nursing homes to take in the infected would encourage the spread of the virus among those it was most likely to kill in what amounted to a death sentence for thousands of New York’s elderly. That didn’t bother Cuomo when he ordered his state’s nursing homes to accept the infected he sent them and apparently didn’t bother Fauci as he heaped praise on the governor.

In praising Cuomo, our Pandemic Czar ignored the deadly consequences of what his favorite governor had done.

Cuomo himself has been doing all he can to avoid blame for the massive wave of death that swept through the state’s nursing homes, blaming the home’s operators and ignoring the fact that most objected to his order and only reluctantly complied when told they would admit the infected into their facilities or be put out of business by state regulators The order has since been rescinded, but Cuomo denies it resulted in needless deaths.

In addition, the Governor and his minions are spending an inordinate amount of time trying to cover up the number of people killed as a result of the order. The state admits that some 6,600 men and women died in New York’s nursing homes, but a recent investigation by the Associated Press estimates that the real number may be more than 11,000 which means that more people have died of the virus in New York’s nursing homes alone than the total who have died in any other state.

The Governor’s minions, according to the AP investigation, facilitated the undercounting by counting only those who died of the virus while actually physically on nursing home property. Since those in critical condition are often transported to a hospital and die there, the state refuses to acknowledge their death in the count which includes only those deaths which occurred on nursing home property. Cuomo’s health chief admits that the state does tally those deaths as well, but has steadfastly refused to let anyone see the cumulative total. This information and much more has been withheld from the press and the public in spite of numerous requests and Freedom of Information Act filings while Governor Cuomo continues to portray himself, with Fauci’s assistance, as the nation’s most accomplished virus fighter.

There have been calls in New York for an independent investigation into the impact of the order on nursing home deaths, but when asked whether he would support such an investigation to determine just what happened, Cuomo told reporters that there shouldn’t be an investigation because there isn’t anyone who could credibly lead it. Instead, he implied, people should trust him.

The magnitude of nursing home deaths in New York is staggering. The governor continues to argue that New York is doing better in terms of the percentage of total deaths coming from nursing homes than many other states, but many believe the true numbers are being manipulated to allow him to make what is almost certainly a false claim. A Democratic state senator told the Governor’s health director during a recent oversight hearing that his review of the data convinced him that “in this case you are choosing to define it differently (than other states) so that you can look better.”

One thing is clear. The truth about what’s happened in New York and the Governor’s responsibility in putting the state’s elderly at risk will never come to light without the independent investigation that Andrew Cuomo is pulling out all the stops to avoid.

David Keene has been at the center of conservative politics for decades. He is a former Chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom and the American Conservative Union and has served as the elected President of the National Rifle Association. He worked as a campaign consultant, lobbyist, and commentator. His writing has appeared in Human Events, National Review and many other conservative publications and remains Editor at Large for The Washington Times after more than four years as the paper’s Opinion Editor.

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