Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was able to skate past scrutiny from reporters during his high-profile visit to the White House on Friday as the nursing home scandal in his state appears to have ensnared him in fresh political trouble.
Cuomo, the chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), joined President Biden, Vice President Harris and other governors and mayors — including the NGA vice-chair, Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson — in the Oval Office to discuss the ongoing national response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden did not take questions from the press pool during the Oval Office event and Cuomo did not join Hutchinson when the Arkansas governor addressed reporters outside the White House later in the day.
Cuomo and Hutchinson later issued a joint statement saying the White House meeting was “productive” and called on Congress to pass a relief package with “sufficient state and local aid”.
“The finish line of this pandemic is in sight, and this support will give states and territories the resources we need to reach it, while continuing to provide the essential services our constituents rely on,” they said.
Cuomo’s own response to the outbreak is facing scrutiny after a pair of bombshell reports from the Associated Press and the New York Post revealed that his administration not only sent more than 9,000 COVID-positive patients into nursing homes in the early weeks of the pandemic, one of his own staffers admitted withholding data about the number COVID deaths in assisted living facilities while offering an apology to state Democratic lawmakers.
The governor is now facing accusations of a cover-up and is receiving backlash even from members from his own party in the New York State Senate, who are calling for the repeal his emergency powers. Other critics are calling for Cuomo’s resignation and for a Justice Department investigation to look into his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic.
Cuomo has been lionized by members of the mainstream media for his daily briefings, which resulted in him receiving a special Emmy award.
CNN and MSNBC skipped over the bombshell reporting on Thursday evening, keeping its focus almost exclusively on the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.