Fauci, Who Once Praised New York for ‘Correctly’ Responding to COVID, Goes Silent When Asked About Cuomo’s Scandal

He avoided responding to the question, claiming he doesn’t know all the details

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After praising Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic last year, on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci didn’t comment on Cuomo’s brewing nursing home scandal.

After the host of “CNN Newsroom”, Jim Scuitto, asked him about Cuomo’s decision to pack nursing homes full of vulnerable residents with COVID-positive patients, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser avoided answering it.

Scuitto asked:

 “You’re a New Yorker yourself, though you don’t live there right now. Andrew Cuomo is coming under criticism now for the big move back to long-term care facilities in the midst of this crisis here.

 [Cuomo has] argued that his state was following federal guidelines when he ordered those long-term care facilities to accept patients returning from hospitals. I wonder, can you clear that up. Was he actually following federal guidelines to do that?” 

Fauci responded:

“You know, Jim, I can’t. I mean, I’m sorry. I’m really. I’m honestly not trying to evade your question, but I’m not really sure of all the details of that, and I think if I make a statement, it probably could either be incorrect or taken out of context. So, I prefer not to comment on that.”

Last year, on more than one occasion, Fauci, who has directed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, praised New York’s leaders.

Last July, he said:

 “We know that, when you do it properly, you bring down those cases. We have done it. We have done it in New York. 

New York got hit worse than any place in the world. And they did it correctly by doing the things that you’re talking about.”

At first, New York claimed 8,500 people died in long-term care facilities after the state forced them to bunk with COVID positive patients in the early days of the health crisis last year.

Now, Cuomo is being denounced, as his administration admits that the death toll is closer to 15,000 people lost in nursing homes.

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The latest case data shows that The Empire State’s COVID death toll is second only to California’s by fewer than 1,000 deaths. In New York, 46,320 people have died due to the coronavirus, while California’s death toll stands at 47,119.

The New York Post reported that last week, Melissa DeRosa, an aid to Cuomo, told lawmakers on a private call that Cuomo was in doubt whether to report the true scope of the state’s handling of the pandemic or not, as he feared from an investigation.

DeRosa actually blamed former President Donald Trump.

She said:

”[W]e were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice or what we give to you guys and what we start saying was going to be used against us, and we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.

 [Trump] starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes. He starts going after [Democratic Gov. Phil of New Jersey], starts going after [Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California], starts going after [Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan].”

These comments enraged Republicans, so Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio then called for Cuomo to be stripped of his emergency powers.

On a local radio show last week, de Blasio said:

 “It’s very troubling. We’ve got to know more. We now need a full accounting of what happened. Think about seniors, [whose] lives were in the balance and their families, you know, just desperate to get them the help they needed.

We need to know exactly what happened here. We need to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”

Some New York state lawmakers have also called for Cuomo’s emergency powers to be stripped, as more than a dozen Democratic state senators have issued a statement, which read:

 “Without exception, the New York State Constitution calls for the Legislature to govern as a co-equal branch of government. While COVID-19 has tested the limits of our people and state– and, early during the pandemic, required the government to restructure decision making to render rapid, necessary public health judgments– it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate.”

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