Cuomo dismisses criticism of timing on his book about coronavirus crisis
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday dismissed criticism about his upcoming book centered around the COVID-19 pandemic after some called it inappropriate timing, The Associated Press reported.
“It’s not about the history of COVID because it’s not over,” Cuomo said. “This is what we did right, this is what we did wrong. Now we have to go out there and play the second half of the game.”
Cuomo has been lauded for his efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread across New York, but has come under scrutiny for his management of nursing homes during the pandemic.
The controversy stems from a March 25 state health department order that sent thousands of recovering COVID-19 patients from hospitals back to nursing homes during peak periods of the pandemic.
During a livestreamed forum Wednesday, several state legislators confronted Cuomo on the issue, with one of them accusing the governor of being more interested in promoting his book, titled “American Crisis,” slated for release in October.
“Don’t be publishing a damn book right now. Take responsibility for what is happening,” state Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D) said during the discussion put on by the Empire Report news site.
Cuomo’s book announcement prompted stiff pushback from media writers like Jacobin editor-at-large David Sirota, who likened the governor’s upcoming book to “if George Bush wrote a self-congratulatory memoir about Hurricane Katrina a few weeks after the storm hit.”
This is like if George Bush wrote a self-congratulatory memoir about Hurricane Katrina a few weeks after the storm hit https://t.co/RS4mkW09KS
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) August 18, 2020
Guardian columnist Ross Barkan also grilled Cuomo on social media, saying he “presided over the most catastrophic outbreak in the world and failed to keep these people alive.”
32,000 people did from COVID-19 in New York. Andrew Cuomo presided over the most catastrophic outbreak in the world and failed to keep these people alive.
Now he’s writing a book about it. https://t.co/cNtEUAgW5o
— Ross Barkan (@RossBarkan) August 18, 2020
New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said during a legislative hearing on Aug. 3 that the state keeps a running count of nursing home resident deaths at hospitals, but declined to offer data to lawmakers, saying it was being checked for accuracy.
An AP report published earlier this month found that the more than 6,620 fatalities reported at assisted living facilities are an undercount, reporting that the number is likely off by margins in the thousands.
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