New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to get a pass from CNN when it comes to his state’s nursing home controversy, despite often being accused of failing to protect nursing home residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
The liberal network has acquired a reputation for conducting softball interviews with Cuomo, the older brother of CNN host Chris Cuomo. The latest example came on Monday when the Democratic governor chatted with CNN hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto for nine minutes without anyone mentioning the nursing home controversy, according to Mediaite.
“The duo began the nine-minute interview – which also included questions about police reform and vote-by-mail efforts – by asking about the state’s reopening process. Cuomo used the opportunity to tout improvement in numbers related to the coronavirus in New York, saying he was a ‘slave to the science,'” Mediaite’s Rudy Takala wrote.
More than 4,800 people died from COVID-19 in nursing homes in New York from March 1 to May 1, according to a count by the governor’s office. Many have blamed the death count on Cuomo's handling of the situation.
He initially made a March 25 order that forced nursing homes to accept patients who tested positive for coronavirus despite testing deficiencies for both residents and staff. Cuomo eventually changed his mind and signed an executive order on May 11 stopping hospitals from sending infected patients back to nursing homes and ramping up testing for staff.
Last month, the Cuomo siblings came under fire when the CNN host spent 25 minutes chatting up his older brother, whom he called the “Love Gov” on-air, and never asked about the controversy. Instead, the CNN anchor played a clip of his brother taking a coronavirus test, during which a nurse placed a cotton swab up his nostril, and joked about the size of his sibling’s nose, complete with props.
CNN seems to be the only network avoiding the topic, as Gov. Cuomo was asked about the nursing home crisis during an MSNBC appearance on Monday.
“Yes, we had more people die in nursing homes than anywhere else, because we had more people die… because the federal government missed the boat and never told us this virus was coming from Europe and not from China," Cuomo said.