Disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to shock the state as he makes his ignominious exit from political life. Governor Kathy Hochul, who has now replaced Cuomo, has announced that the state is aware of thousands of COVID-19 deaths which were never included in the official reports published by Cuomo. The governor had effectively been using a lower count to convince the world that his handling of the pandemic was far better than it was.
Cuomo ignored thousands of deaths
Governor Hochul announced as soon as she took office that the state was aware of 12,000 COVID-19 deaths which had never been officially reported under the Cuomo administration.
Both Republicans and Democrats in New York praised Hochul for immediately taking steps to show more transparency than had been seen under the previous governor.
The state had been officially releasing counts which excluded individuals who died before they were given tests which could confirm their diagnoses.
This means that large numbers of deaths early in the course of the pandemic were never counted because sufficient numbers of tests were unavailable at this early stage.
Despite being fully aware that these deaths were almost certainly caused by COVID-19, Cuomo and his people refused to include them essentially due to a technicality.
Under different circumstances this could have been a well-intentioned, if slightly dishonest, distinction to make in conveying data to the public; in this situation it seems almost certain that there was an intention to mislead.
Protecting his own reputation
By not including these thousands of additional deaths Cuomo was able to pretend that the number of nursing home residents dying, especially early in the pandemic, was far lower than it was.
Democrats and friendly media went to great lengths to portray the New York governor as a hero of the pandemic; he was feted as an honest and reassuring presence by other powerful liberals.
Cuomo was even given an Emmy and wrote (allegedly) a book about leadership which was clearly meant to extol his own virtues.
While all of this public praise was happening, Cuomo was intentionally manipulating the data he reported so that New Yorkers would not be aware of the high number of deaths occurring in nursing homes.
Of course, he was also engaging in sexual harassment on a regular basis; this behavior finally became public knowledge after a tidal wave of accusations from former employees and staffers finally emerged, forcing his resignation.
Andrew Cuomo may have been forced out of office, yet he clearly deserves to face criminal charges both for his private behavior and for misleading the people of New York. This former governor has no right to enjoy a quiet retirement.