Saturday Night Live is facing backlash after it’s Weekend Update hosts made two mentions of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo but ignored allegations that his office covered up thousands of COVID-19 nursing home deaths.
Host Michael Che opened his brief segment on Cuomo with a light jab, calling him the ‘real-life model’ for Moe Syslack, the bartender in The Simpsons.
Che described how Cuomo was expanding eligibility requirements for COVID-19 vaccines, before co-host Colin Jost chimed in to say that the governor was also allowing sports venues to open at 10 percent capacity.
Viewers quickly took to social media to condemn the fact that SNL completely glossed over Cuomo’s biggest scandal of the week.
On Thursday the governor’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, admitted that his office deliberately hid data on nursing home COVID deaths in the midst of a Justice Department investigation into their handling of the pandemic.
Cuomo has subsequently faced calls to resign as the New York State Assembly considers removing his emergency powers.
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Saturday Night Live is facing backlash after it’s Weekend Update hosts made two mentions of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo but ignored allegations that his office covered up thousands of COVID-19 nursing home deaths
Host Michael Che (left) opened his brief segment on Cuomo with a light jab, calling him the ‘real-life model’ for Moe Syslack, the bartender in The Simpsons
Che described how Cuomo was expanding eligibility requirements for COVID-19 vaccines, before co-host Colin Jost (right) chimed in to say that the governor was also allowing sports venues to open at 10 percent capacity
SNL apparently felt that the data drama didn’t warrant a segment on Weekend Update – and fans were not happy about it.
‘Super cute how SNL weekend update brought up Governor Cuomo twice and not the thirteen thousand disabled people he murdered,’ one woman wrote.
‘Nice that @nbcsnl had 2 bits on #Cuomo on #WeekendUpdate, but didn’t mention that Cuomo was exposed for sending seniors to die of #COVID in #nursinghomes,’ a another added. ‘Wow. What an *easy,* lay-up joke for #SNL, yet…’
Several critics said they weren’t surprised by the light touch SNL took with Cuomo.
‘Typical snl bias. No mention Cuomo killed thousands. Could have done a number on him but didn’t. They really are coward,’ one man wrote.
‘Were you surprised when SNL didn’t focus on Cuomo and his poor math skills, nor failing to show him pushing a grandma in a wheelchair back into the nursing homes (or over a cliff)?’ another asked.
SNL has faced similar criticism in recent weeks for avoiding parodies of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris – a courtesy the former administration never received from the show.
The latest episode opened with a sketch widely mocking Republicans over the impeachment trial, which ended in an acquittal for Trump earlier on Saturday.
Viewers quickly took to social media to condemn the fact that SNL completely glossed over Cuomo’s biggest scandal of the week
Weekend Update’s failure to admonish Cuomo comes as he faces mounting pressure to apologize for the nursing home debacle sparked by his secretary, DeRosa.
In a remarkable confession made during a conference call with state Democrats, obtained by The New York Post, DeRosa admitted that officials ‘froze’ in August when former President Trump’s Department of Justice asked for the care home death data, before rebuffing the request.
DeRosa told lawmakers: ‘We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.’
The data remained secret for months until January, when a shocking report from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office said the state had undercounted the number of nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent.
It forced New York State’s Department of Health to reveal that the true death toll among nursing home residents was 12,743, rather than the previously acknowledged 8,711.
New York had previously only counted residents who died in nursing homes, and left out 4,000 residents who were taken to hospital and died there.
Melissa de Rosa (left), a top aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo (right) admitted the administration had hidden nursing home COVID-related death numbers in a Thursday call
A nursing home patient is seen receiving the COVID vaccine on January 6 in Brooklyn
A conference is expected to be held discussing rescinding Cuomo’s emergency powers – which granted him the authority to suspend existing statutes or effectively create new laws – a new report states.
Allegedly a growing number of Democrats are joining Republicans’ calls for a revocation, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
On Friday, 14 Democratic New York State Senators joined Republicans in calling for Cuomo’s pandemic emergency powers to be rescinded.
‘Without exception, the New York State Constitution calls for the Legislature to govern as a co-equal branch of government,’ they wrote.
‘While COVID-19 has tested the limits of our people and the state – and early during the pandemic, required the government to restructure decision making to render rapid, necessary public health judgement – it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate.
‘While the executive’s authority to issue directives is set to expire April 30, we urge the Senate to advance and adopt a repeal as expeditiously as possible.’
Neither Cuomo’s office nor the Senate Majority Leader’s office nor the New York State Assembly office have returned DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Cuomo has not yet issued a statement acknowledging DeRosa’s bombshell admission, but was seen at a morning meeting with Biden and other leaders at the White House to discuss a coronavirus relief package.
Cuomo has not yet issued a statement acknowledging DeRosa’s bombshell admission, but was seen at a morning meeting with Biden and other leaders at the White House to discuss a coronavirus relief package on Friday (pictured)
In March 2020, the state legislature granted Cuomo emergency powers to address the coronavirus pandemic, effectively allowing the governor to change any local or state law with the stroke of a pen.
As of last week, Cuomo has issued at least 94 executive orders, according to WGRZ.
Examples include limiting gatherings in public and private spaces, closing or reopening businesses, mask mandates and expanding hospital capacity.
There were also executives orders indirectly related to the pandemic, such as making people at a bar also order food, postponing church elections, making a second wedding license available for free if the first one expired, and waiving performance reviews for public school teachers.
The executive powers are set to expire on April 30, but the New York State Legislature has the power to revoke these powers before the deadline.
If so, it means Cuomo would no longer have the power to suspend existing statutes or effectively create new laws, all of which would now be done by the Legislature.
A simple majority is needed in both houses, the Assembly and the Senate, for the powers to be rescinded.
There are 150 members in the Assembly so a simple majority would entail 76 members voting to rescind or 75 members and a tie-breaking casting vote by the Lieutenant Governor.
In the Senate, there are 63 members so there would need to be 32 Senators voting to rescind a simple majority.
On Friday, Majority Leader Sen Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat, released a statement slamming Cuomo and stated that the ‘next steps’ would be discussed at a conference.
‘Crucial information should never be withheld from entities that are empowered to pursue oversight,’ Stewart-Cousins wrote.
‘This was always about getting the truth and allowing information to guide our response. That is why we had multiple hearings and another hearing scheduled for this month. And why we requested this information in the first place.
‘Politics should not be part of this tragic pandemic and our response to it must be led by policy, not politics. As always, we will be discussing next steps at a conference.’
On Friday, 14 Democratic New York State Senators joined Republicans in calling for Cuomo’s pandemic emergency powers to be rescinded
Democrats had asked for the exact figures for nursing home deaths from COVID since March 1 but DeRosa, secretary to the governor, said that at the same time the Trump administration was investigating. Pictured: A medic from Empress EMS loads a suspected COVID-19 patient from the Regency Extended Care Center into an ambulance in Yonkers, New York, April 7
In a statement on Friday, DeRosa said the administration had been transparent and that she told state legislators their request for information on nursing home COVID-19 deaths was set aside to deal with federal request.
‘We informed the houses of this at the time. We were comprehensive and transparent in our responses to the DOJ, and then had to immediately focus our resources on the second wave and vaccine rollout,’ she said.
‘As I said on a call with legislators, we could not fulfill their request as quickly as anyone would have liked.
‘But we are committed to being better partners going forward as we share the same goal of keeping New Yorkers as healthy as possible during the pandemic.’
A March 25 directive from Cuomo ordered nursing homes to accept thousands of COVID-positive patients when they were discharged from hospital – potentially spreading sickness and death among residents, a charge the state disputes.
DeRosa’s admission came shortly before the Associated Press revealed that more than 9,000 patients were sent back to nursing homes – a figure 40 percent higher than official data.