In his new memoir, American Crisis, Cuomo acknowledged the impact the coronavirus outbreak has had on his state’s nursing homes, but he denied that his March 25 order that exposed healthy senior citizens to contagious patients had anything to do with it.
“By early spring, Republicans needed an offense to distract from the narrative of their botched federal response—and they needed it badly,” Cuomo wrote. “So they decided to attack Democratic governors and blame them for nursing homes.”
Cuomo then accused Michael Godwin, a columnist for the New York Post, of participating in an “orchestrated strategy” to undermine his coronavirus response after Godwin published a column criticizing his nursing home policy.
“On April 25, conservative columnist Michael Goodwin published a piece in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post aimed at New York with the headline, ‘State lacked common sense in nursing homes’ coronavirus approach,’” wrote Cuomo. “It was an orchestrated strategy and a Fox News drumbeat.”
As Cuomo was quick to observe, he was not the only blue-state leader responsible for implementing the disastrous policy.
“It wasn’t just me,” he said.
“Phil Murphy in New Jersey, Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, Gavin Newsom in California and Tom Wolf in Pennsylvania were all in the Republican crosshairs on nursing homes,” he continued. “As the states with the most deaths were Democratic states, the Trump forces saw us as an easy target.”
Nonetheless, Cuomo—who has regularly deflected blame for New York’s problem onto President Donald Trump— failed to make the connection between those states’ leadership shortcomings and their astronomical mortality rates during the pandemic’s peak.
Cuomo has faced criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for refusing to disclose information about his nursing home policy and how many lives it cost.
In May, he partially reversed the order without saying why.
He admitted in the memoir that he should have been more forthright about the policy, although he continued to deny any wrongdoing.
Cuomo said his critics “needed to add a conspiracy, which was that they [elderly victims] died because of a bad state policy that ‘mandated and directed’ that the nursing homes accept COVID-positive people, and these COVID-positive people were the cause of the spread of the disease in the nursing homes,” he continued.
“It was a lie,” he claimed without evidence.