CBS reporter Ed O’Keefe claimed Wednesday that “many people” thought New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D., did a “masterful job” protecting New Yorkers throughout the pandemic, despite his controversial order for New York nursing homes to admit patients who tested positive for the coronavirus.
While discussing Cuomo’s decision to resign over multiple allegations of sexual harassment, O’Keefe seemingly praised the third-term governor to “CBS this Morning” host Dana Jacobson, listing off things he said New Yorkers “credit” Cuomo for accomplishing.
“Well there were a lot of things he did – obviously the pandemic – you talk to people in Albany or across the state, they say he did a masterful job of keeping the state safe and dealing with the situation and serving as a tonic to many people compared to the federal response, especially in those early weeks and months,” O’Keefe said after Jacobson asked how he thought people would remember Cuomo’s legacy.
CUOMO NURSING HOME ORDER DID CAUSE MORE DEATHS, SHOULD’VE BEEN REVERSED SOONER: TASK FORCE
“They credit him with a lot of major infrastructure projects across the state. They’re rebuilding LaGuardia Airport. They’ve rebuilt other parts of the state as well. And he tried to buck up the economy,” O’Keefe added. “But you take his behavior in this situation, his alleged behavior, plus a host of scandals over the last several years and they said it was time told him accountable.”
O’Keefe didn’t go into detail about the “host of scandals,” but Cuomo was heavily criticized for his March 2020 order to admit infected coronavirus patients into nursing homes. The order potentially led to the deaths of as many as 1,000 elderly patients, according to a report by the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care.
Nearly 14,000 nursing home patients in New York are reported to have died from the coronavirus as of July 12.
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Cuomo’s administration was subsequently accused of attempting to cover up the actual number of nursing home deaths in the state, leading to an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Her January report found the state Department of Health undercounted the number of nursing home coronavirus deaths by as much as 50%.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied wrongdoing concerning the counting of nursing home deaths.