Through much of the coronavirus outbreak, there has been growing scrutiny over the Democratic governor’s order in late March that forced nursing homes to accept patients who tested positive for coronavirus, despite testing deficiencies for both residents and staff. Cuomo signed an executive order on May 11 reversing the policy, stopping hospitals from sending infected patients back to nursing homes and ramping up testing for staff.
Roughly 7,900 people have either been confirmed or presumed dead from COVID-19 in nursing homes in New York, according to the state’s health department. That equates to approximately 25 percent of all deaths in the state have occurred in nursing homes per the latest state total from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
However, despite the mounting criticism of his brother’s leadership, Chris Cuomo turned a blind eye on the subject over the course of ten interviews in the past three months. That was until Wednesday night.
“Nursing homes. People died there, they didn’t have to, it was mismanaged and the operators have been given immunity. What do you have to say about that?” the CNN anchor asked.
“Several statements that are not correct, but that’s OK. It’s your show, you say whatever you want to say,” Gov. Cuomo jokingly reacted.
The governor called the nursing home deaths “the most tragic situation” and pointed to how there were nursing home deaths “all across the country” and said “we have to figure out how to do it better the next time” before the next virus wave occurs.
He claimed that New York was “one of the best cases in the nation” for deaths in nursing homes, citing an apparent report from The New York Times that showed the state was “35 out of 50” and his own study with ranked his state at “37,” adding that “comparatively” his state did well.
The Democratic leader went on to acknowledge that “roughly 38 percent” of deaths in New York were senior citizens and said he was determined to figure out “how to do a better job” if the virus comes back.
At the end of the interview, the CNN anchor showered the governor with praise as New York’s leader and even admitted to his viewers, “of course, I’m not objective” while expressing his love for his brother.
The “Cuomo Prime Time” host faced intense backlash last month for opting to do prop comedy with his brother instead of addressing the nursing home controversy.