On March 22, 2020, the “Reliable Sources” host praised Cuomo’s daily briefings, citing a “well-placed source” who allegedly told him that the Trump White House was “watching” the New York governor’s press conferences and were “taking cues” from the high-profile Democrat.
“This has been a remarkable show of leadership by Governor Cuomo in recent days,” Stelter told viewers. “He’s providing hope, but not false hope.”
However, recent reports indicate that Cuomo wasn’t being forthright, particularly on the subject of nursing home deaths in his state following his controversial policy that ordered assistant living facilities to take COVID-positive patients.
The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times both published bombshell reports Thursday alleging that the Cuomo administration altered data that obscured the true number of nursing home deaths in the state.
Sources told WSJ that a July report “focused only on residents who died inside long-term-care facilities, leaving out those who had died in hospitals after becoming sick in nursing homes.”
According to WSJ, the data change, which was done by state health officials at the direction of Gov. Cuomo’s top advisers, resulted in the recording of 6,432 nursing home deaths, which was a “significant undercount.”
The Times reporting suggests that the conflict over the report was also tied to the Democratic governor’s aspirations to write a book about his “leadership” that touted his response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Beth Garvey, a special counsel and senior adviser to Cuomo, claimed that “out-of-facility data” – meaning the deaths in hospitals – was omitted from the July report after the state Department of Health “could not confirm it had been adequately verified.”
“This did not change the conclusion of the report, which was and is that the March 25 order was ‘not a driver of nursing home infections or fatalities.’”
She added: “COVID Task Force officials did not request that the report conclude the March 25 order played no role; in fact Task Force Members, knowing the report needed to withstand rigorous public scrutiny were very cautious to not overstate the statistical analysis presented in the report. Overall, ensuring public confidence in the conclusion was the ultimate goal of DOH and the COVID Task Force in issuing the report.”
During that same March broadcast, Stelter suggested that he would teach the governor’s wise words to his own children.
“‘Dealing with hardship actually makes you stronger'” an emotional Stelter expressed. “That’s what Governor Cuomo said earlier today, that’s what I’m going to teach my kids right now at home.”
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