ABC Maintains BLACKOUT of Cuomo COVID Scandal

On Friday, ABC’s Good Morning America maintained the liberal network’s censorship of the scandal swirling around Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over a disturbing new report that his administration undercounted the number of coronavirus nursing home deaths in the state by 50%. Despite ABC’s continued journalistic malpractice, CBS This Morning discovered the news and the Today show continued NBC’s coverage of the story.

“New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges that the State of New York has undercounted coronavirus-related fatalities at nursing homes by as much as 50%,” CBS This Morning co-host Tony Dokoupil informed viewers Friday morning, after Thursday’s Evening News completely ignored the bombshell finding. “She says Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration has only counted those who died on site, not those who died in the hospitals, of the virus,” Dokoupil explained.

 

 

The host specifically pointed to the disastrous policy implemented by Cuomo:

Back in March, 2020, long-term care facilities were directed to take in COVID patients to relieve stress on hospitals. And the measure was reversed in May. The AG’s report says that by then the policy, quote, “may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities.”

On NBC’s Today show, fill-in co-host Willie Geist kept up the network’s coverage of the scandal: “Now to a scathing new report out of New York, accusing the state of undercounting the number of COVID deaths in nursing homes.” Like she did for Thursday’s Nightly News, correspondent Kristen Dahlgren reported:

In a new report, the state’s attorney general saying New York may have underreported the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%….The 76-page report also blasts a March directive from Governor Andrew Cuomo, mandating nursing homes take in COVID patients to free up hospital beds. Adding, some of the facilities were unprepared for the order and failed to comply with protocols, like isolating infected patients.

Dahlgren noted Cuomo’s past refusal to admit that he made a “mistake” with his nursing home policy, including during a Today show interview last June:

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO [D-NY]: What we did here in New York is nothing different than what the federal government put out as guidance for every state. Yes, people died in nursing homes, Savannah.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Was that a mistake?

CUOMO: No, look, if you look at how many people died in nursing homes in New York compared to other states, we actually have a lower percentage of people who died in nursing homes.

Dahlgren wrapped up the segment by going through the newly-revealed numbers: “If you add them all up, Willie, those who died in nursing homes, in hospitals, and those that haven’t been confirmed yet but are suspected, it is more than 12,000, not the 6,000 that’s officially on the books.” Geist concluded: “It is a maddening report for so many families in this state.”

Amazingly, ABC News has refused to cover this latest sad chapter in Cuomo’s incompetent and deadly response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here is a full transcript of the January 29 report on CBS This Morning:

8:08 AM ET

TONY DOKOUPIL: New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges that the State of New York has undercounted coronavirus-related fatalities at nursing homes by as much as 50%. She says Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration has only counted those who died on site, not those who died in the hospitals, of the virus.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Nursing Home Allegations; NY Attorney General Accuses State of Undercounting COVID Deaths]

Back in March, 2020, long-term care facilities were directed to take in COVID patients to relieve stress on hospitals. And the measure was reversed in May. The AG’s report says that by then the policy, quote, “may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities.”

GAYLE KING: Well, we actually looked back – we looked back into this in August, and a former New York nursing home employee told us this at the time, that her facility took in COVID-infected patients in March and April. Now she alleged that in some cases healthy residents were put in rooms with those who had COVID, and staff treated both sick and healthy people at the same time.

New York’s health commissioner, that’s Howard Zucker, is denying there was an undercount of deaths. He also denies the nursing home policy cost lives. But he does say reforms are needed. He’s now promising to implement those changes later this year.         

Here is a full transcript of the report on NBC’s Today show:

8:05 AM ET

WILLIE GEIST: Now to a scathing new report out of New York, accusing the state of undercounting the number of COVID deaths in nursing homes. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren joins us with a closer look. Kristen, good morning.

KRISTEN DAHLGREN: Good morning, Willie. So we know what happened in nursing homes early on in the pandemic was tragic. But this morning, New York’s attorney general is saying it may have been much worse than we were told.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New York Underreported Nursing Home Deaths?; State Attorney General Releases Scathing New Report]

In a new report, the state’s attorney general saying New York may have underreported the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%.

JAMES SKOUFIS [D-NEW YORK STATE SENATOR]: The state had not counted, as of today, nursing home residents who died in hospitals. And we deserve to know the full scope of just how horrific this nightmare, this crisis was.

DAHLGREN: The 76-page report also blasts a March directive from Governor Andrew Cuomo, mandating nursing homes take in COVID patients to free up hospital beds. Adding, some of the facilities were unprepared for the order and failed to comply with protocols, like isolating infected patients. Vivian Rivera Zayas lost her mom, Anna, who was recovering from knee surgery at a care facility.

VIVIAN RIVERA ZAYAS: Never would I have imagined that as soon as the doors were closed, that my mother would have passed away two days before she was supposed to be home.

DAHLGREN: Her attorney, Brett Leitner, represents more than a hundred families with similar stories.

BRETT LEITNER: Nursing homes knew about a COVID-positive resident and was still having them in the day room, in the elevators, without masks, and just in direct contact with the other elderly nursing home residents.

DAHLGREN: Governor Cuomo has not commented on the report, but in the past has said that he was following federal guidelines. He spoke to Savannah last June.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO [D-NY]: What we did here in New York is nothing different than what the federal government put out as guidance for every state. Yes, people died in nursing homes, Savannah.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Was that a mistake?

CUOMO: No, look, if you look at how many people died in nursing homes in New York compared to other states, we actually have a lower percentage of people who died in nursing homes.

DAWN BEST: It should never have happened.

DAHLGREN: For Dawn Best, who says her mom died of neglect while her nursing home was overrun with COVID, she hopes the report brings accountability. For her, it’s much more than numbers.

BEST: New York State failed my mother and failed thousands of people’s mothers and fathers.

DAHLGREN: This morning, the state health commissioner is taking issue with the accusation of an undercount. He says the state has always counted nursing home residents who died in hospitals separately. If you add them all up, Willie, those who died in nursing homes, in hospitals, and those that haven’t been confirmed yet but are suspected, it is more than 12,000, not the 6,000 that’s officially on the books.

GEIST: It is a maddening report for so many families in this state. Kristen Dahlgren, thanks so much.

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