NY Gov. Cuomo's little brother silent on big brother's nursing home scandal

New Yorker who lost mother-in-law in nursing home blasts ‘disgrace’ Cuomo

Robin Hepworth tells ‘Hannity’ correspondent Lawrence Jones embattled governor ‘needs to resign’

CNN’s Chris Cuomo is remaining silent on the nursing home scandal surrounding his big brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Since the scandal broke last week, Cuomo has neither mentioned it on his show nor has he tweeted about it – devoting tweets and airtime instead to the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

FILE: Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, is joined by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as she speaks to reporters during a news conference, in New York. 

The governor received glowing praise from CNN and MSNBC early on for his handling of the pandemic and they largely ignored his directive for nursing homes to accept patients who had or were suspected of having COVID-19. The decision created an onslaught of COVID-19 cases that infected thousands of elderly patients and resulted in hundreds of deaths among the state’s most vulnerable population. 

Cuomo eventually reversed the decision – but thousands had died from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes before he reversed course.  

Chris Cuomo was widely ridiculed for a series of interviews of his big brother during the height of the nursing home crisis in which they joked around and teased each other while the “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake largely avoided tough questions. During one shameful interview, the Cuomo siblings essentially treated CNN viewers to a prop comedy routine.

The CNN anchor finally mentioned the nursing home controversy to his brother after ignoring it during at least 10 on-air interviews since the scandal began, but Cuomo quickly 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.

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 governor’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, told Democratic lawmakers that Cuomo’s administration took months to release data revealing how many people living at nursing homes died of COVID-19 because officials “froze” over worries the information was “going to be used against us.”

Republicans who term the comment admission of a “cover-up” are now calling for investigations into and the resignations of both Cuomo and DeRosa. A growing number of Democrats are joining calls to rescind Cuomo’s emergency executive powers, blasting the administration’s defense of its secrecy.

The disclosure of DeRosa’s comments, made on a Wednesday conference call with Democratic legislative leaders, came as the Democratic governor – a third-term Democrat who says he’ll run again in 2022 and penned a book touting his handling of the pandemic – and his administration were already facing backlash over their handling and reporting of outbreaks in nursing homes.

Cuomo refused for months to release data on how the pandemic has hit nursing home residents, instead pointing to figures more favorable to his administration.

In recent weeks, a court order and state attorney general report have forced the state to acknowledge the nursing home resident death toll is nearly 15,000, when it previously reported 8,500 – a number that excluded residents who died after being taken to hospitals. The new toll amounts to about one-seventh of the people living in nursing homes as of 2019 in New York.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.    

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