New York Gov Andrew Cuomo claimed on Monday that Santa Claus is going to be good to him this year because he worked hard this year, sparking anger over his handling of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes where more than 6,000 residents died.
During a press conference, Cuomo explained: ‘There’s going to be a time when people turn around and say, “why did 57 people die? And why did we have more people die than anywhere else?”
‘You don’t want to have to answer that question. And the answer can’t be, “because we played politics”.’
The governor then encouraged New Yorkers to have a ‘healthy holiday,’ noting that he was ‘going to have a great one’.
‘Santa’s going to be very good to me. I can tell. I worked hard this year,’ Cuomo said.
New York Gov Andrew Cuomo claimed on Monday that Santa Claus is going to be good to him this year because of the way he handled the pandemic, prompting several people to take to social media to criticize him over his remarks
That comment quickly prompted people to take to social media to criticize the governor.
Writer Doug Powers wrote: ‘Narrator: But sadly the governor was unaware that Santa Claus passed away earlier that year in a New York nursing home because of his Covid policies.’
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean shared: ‘He definitely worked hard on his book deal, his Emmy award, and lying through his teeth all year.’
She was referring to Cuomo’s memoir, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, that was published in October.
‘No. Governor Cuomo deserves coal in his stocking for the rest of his life,’ another shared.
Over the summer, Cuomo dismissed concerns that his state’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes could be a significant undercount, saying it makes sense to include only those residents who died on the home’s property.
Unlike the federal government and every other state with major outbreaks, only New York explicitly says that it counts just residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there.
‘If you die in the nursing home, it’s a nursing home death. If you die in the hospital, it’s called a hospital death,’ the Democratic governor said in August. ‘It doesn’t say where were you before.’
That comment quickly prompted people to take to social media to criticize the governor
Cuomo said if New York were to count a death as a nursing home death and a hospital death, that could lead to a ‘double count’.
‘And if I’m a nursing home operator, I say: “Don’t say that person died in my nursing home, because they didn’t. They died in the hospital. And if the hospital did a better job, they wouldn’t have died. So why do I get the blame for the death when it didn’t happen in my nursing home?” So it depends on how you want to argue it,’ he said.
Some New York lawmakers have accused Cuomo’s administration of refusing to divulge the complete count to make it appear that his state is doing better than others on the nursing home crisis and make a tragic situation less dire.
An Associated Press report previously found that New York’s official care home death count of more than 6,620 is not only an undercount but that it is likely undercounted by thousands of deaths.
It noted how a separate federal count since May included resident deaths in hospitals and was 65 per cent higher than the comparable state count that didn’t.
New York’s count allows it to tout a percentage of nursing home deaths among its overall deaths that is 20 per cent, as much as three times smaller than neighboring states.
If New York was even at the national average of 44 per cent, that would translate to more than 11,000 nursing home deaths.
Cuomo’s comments came just days before New York City restaurants sent a message to the governor and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio: ‘If we can’t feed our families, we won’t feed yours.’
Some New York lawmakers have accused Cuomo’s administration of refusing to divulge the complete count to make it appear that his state is doing better than others on the nursing home crisis. A resident of a Riverdale, New York, nursing home waves at his son during a visit
An Associated Press report previously found that New York’s official care home death count of more than 6,620 is not only an undercount but that it is likely undercounted by thousands of deaths. Family members wave goodbye to a nursing home resident in Riverdale, New York
That’s the slogan of thousands of owners who are threatening to ban the politicians from eating at their establishments in response to a blanket ban on indoor dining, according to Michael Quinn, whose family runs the famous Feltman hot dogs brand in Coney Island.
‘These people need to survive and they spend thousands of dollars doing what they need to do. They’re just not going to make it,’ Quinn told Fox News.
‘And it’s not about politics at this point – whether you’re left or right or conservative or Democrat. It’s economic Darwinism at this point. It’s survival of the fittest.’
Quinn argued that Cuomo’s move to close indoor dining – which was already only at 25 per cent capacity – earlier this month flies in the face of science, given that it accounts for less than two per cent of COVID-19 cases, according to data from New York state.
In comparison, 70 per cent of cases have been linked to household gatherings, which become more frequent when indoor dining is unavailable, Quinn said.
Cuomo has also been the subject of recent allegations from a former staffer, who alleged the governor ‘abused his power’ for years in a series of tweets over the weekend, are simply ‘not true’.
Lindsey Boylan tweeted earlier this month that Cuomo ‘sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched’.
‘I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years,’ she continued.
When first reached for comment, Cuomo’s press secretary Caitlin Girouard said: ‘There is simply no truth to these claims.’
And Cuomo reiterated that statement during a press conference following the claims when a reporter asked about his reaction: ‘I heard about the tweet and what it said about comments that I had made. It’s not true.’
‘Look, I fought for and I believe a woman has the right to come forward and express her opinion and express issues and concerns that she has. But it’s just not true,’ the governor added before moving on to the next question.
Boylan, 36, worked for the Cuomo administration from March 2015 to October 2018, serving first as executive vice president of Empire State Development and then as a special adviser to Cuomo for economic development.