Daughter of NY COVID victim accuses media of censoring interviews to protect Cuomo
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February 2, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo may be facing renewed scrutiny over his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, but he still has allies in the mainstream media, according to the daughter of a virus victim who says interviewers have attempted to silence her mentions of the embattled governor.
For months, New York was the hardest hit out of any state by the pandemic, due in large part to the coronavirus spreading within the state’s nursing homes, where more than 8,500 deaths have been officially reported as of January. Cuomo ordered that nursing homes cannot turn away patients diagnosed with COVID-19, despite the fact the virus is most dangerous to the elderly.
Dawn Best, who lost her mother to COVID-19 in a New York nursing home, told Fox & Friends this week that numerous media outlets that have had her on to discuss the issue, including NBC News, have attempted to censor and forbid her references to Cuomo.
“The media was never letting me say Governor Cuomo all along, and it was being cut out of every interview that I was in,” she said. “And then I started every sentence that they asked with Governor Cuomo so they couldn’t do that to me, so then they were forced to literally ask me to cut out Governor Cuomo’s name.
“Lester Holt’s show wasn’t the only one to do it,” Best continued. “So what happened specifically on that show was I was telling them that Governor Cuomo failed us, his books should be named – not lessons in leadership, it should be lessons in failure. She stopped me and she said to me, can you say that a different way without Governor Cuomo’s name and just say, New York failed you? So I had no choice. I had to say New York failed me.”
Mediaite found one of the segments in question, and while it does show that one of Best’s mentions of Cuomo made it to the screen (as did footage of Best holding a sign reading “Cuomo Killed My Mother”), it also shows NBC interviewer Kristen Dahlgren framing a follow-up question as “Did New York state fail your mother?”
The allegation follows a report from the office of New York Attorney General (and fellow Democrat) Letitia James that found Cuomo’s administration undercounted COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as half. The report also identifies numerous deficiencies in the management of nursing homes themselves, especially inadequate staffing.
Democrats in the state Senate have since blocked their Republican colleagues’ efforts to subpoena records that would shed further light on the matter, the New York Post reported. “I, for one, do not believe we’re getting the full picture from Attorney General James’ report,” said Republican state Sen. Thomas O’Mara, in response to Democrat state Sen. James Skoufis’s rejection of the subpoena as a “political motion.”
Cuomo initially tried to blame nursing home deaths on the Trump administration by claiming that a federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance forced him to put the infected back in nursing homes. But Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-New York, explained that the CDC actually called for elderly housing decisions to be made on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the “ability of the accepting facility to meet the recommended infection control practices,” such as the “ability to place residents in a designated COVID-19 care unit that is equipped with the resources and (personal protective equipment) to safely prevent the spread of infections.”
Cuomo’s placement of individuals known to be infectious among the state’s most vulnerable contrasts sharply with the extreme measures New York leaders have taken to prevent spreading the virus in less risky situations, such as restricting in-person religious services.
Despite Cuomo's overall handling of the pandemic, he had enjoyed a media narrative presenting him as a model leader, which Cuomo took advantage of to release a book on “Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic,” touting his self-professed “clear communication, compassion for others, and a commitment to truth-telling.”