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Flashback: CNN’s Chris Cuomo goofed around with brother, failed to ask governor about NY nursing home deaths

Flashback: CNN’s Chris Cuomo goofed around with brother, failed to ask governor about NY nursing home deaths

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Flashback: CNN’s Chris Cuomo goofed around with brother, failed to ask governor about NY nursing home deaths

A new report holds New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's feet to the fire for his handling of the coronavirus in the early months of the pandemic, when the Democratic governor regularly appeared on his brother’s CNN program for friendly interviews.New York Attorney General Letitia James said that the state Department of Health underreported COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%, according to a report released Thursday. Cuomo famously directed nursing homes in the Empire State to accept patients who had or were suspected of having COVID-19. The decision created an onslaught of COVID-19 cases that infected thousands of elderly patients and resulted in hundreds of deaths among the state's most vulnerable population. He eventually reversed the decision – but thousands had died from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes before Cuomo reversed course.  
CNN’s Chris Cuomo was criticized for a series of lighthearted interviews with his older brother.
NY UNDERCOUNTED NURSING HOME CORONAVIRUS DEATHS BY AS MUCH AS 50%, STATE AG SAYSAround the same time, Cuomo made regular appearances on "Cuomo Prime Time," a CNN program hosted by his younger brother, Chris. The siblings conducted a series of playful on-air conversations masquerading as interviews as Americans wanted answers from the elder Cuomo amid the nursing home scandal.Instead, the CNN host joked around with his brother about things such as who is their mother’s favorite child. Days after Cuomo signed an executive order on May 11 stopping hospitals from sending infected patients back to nursing homes and ramping up testing for staff, he appeared on his brother’s show for a 25-minute sit-down that made no mention of the nursing home death toll.There was only one mention of nursing homes during the entire interview, which was when Andrew Cuomo was boasting about the state's increased coronavirus testing capabilities and listed nursing homes and prisons among the sites that they had been administered.CNN'S CHRIS CUOMO DOES PROP COMEDY WITH NY GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, FAILS TO ASK ABOUT NURSING-HOME CONTROVERSY During one infamous segment, the Cuomo brothers turned to physical comedy after the CNN anchor played a clip of the governor taking a coronavirus test where a nurse placed a cotton swab up his nostril."Is it true that this was the swab that the nurse was actually using on you?" the primetime host asked his brother while holding a cartoonishly oversized cotton swab.He then quickly followed by presenting him an even larger cotton swab, asking the governor if that was the one the nurse used on him.Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson blasted CNN following the prop comedy routine by the Cuomo siblings.CNN'S CHRIS CUOMO FINALLY ASKS BROTHER SOFTBALL QUESTION ON NY NURSING HOME CONTROVERSY"CNN's coverage of Andrew Cuomo has been consistent with much of the media, focus on the glowing verbiage and ignore the catastrophic mishandling of nursing homes that led to thousands of deaths," Jacobson told Fox News at the time."This problem is compounded by a serious conflict of interest arising from the relationship between Chris Cuomo, one of CNN's highest-profile news personalities, and his brother the Governor," Jacobson added. "Chris Cuomo should not be allowed to cover or comment on air about his brother, and CNN should appoint someone to monitor and review coverage of Andrew Cuomo to prevent this conflict of interest from bleeding over to other news coverage."Despite widespread criticism, CNN continued to allow the Cuomo brothers to chat on air. In June, CNN’s Cuomo finally mentioned the nursing home controversy to his brother after ignoring it during at least 10 on-air interviews since the scandal began."Nursing homes. People died there, they didn't have to, it was mismanaged and the operators have been given immunity. What do you have to say about that?" the CNN anchor asked after months of ignoring the topic."Several statements that are not correct, but that's OK. It's your show, you say whatever you want to say," Gov. Cuomo jokingly reacted.GOV. ANDREW CUOMO GETS A PASS FROM CNN ON NURSING HOME POLICY CONTROVERSYThe governor then called the nursing home deaths "the most tragic situation" and pointed to how there were nursing home deaths "all across the country" and said "we have to figure out how to do it better the next time" before the next virus wave occurs.At the end of the interview, the CNN anchor showered the governor with praise as New York's leader and even admitted to his viewers, "Of course, I'm not objective" while expressing his love for his brother."This is one of the most embarrassing and self-destructive things I've seen a news outlet do. I doubt even North Korean State TV would allow an anchor to "interview" his own brother and use their airwaves to declare him a Great and Noble Leader," journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote at the time. "Dynastic political power + StateTV."Shortly after the interview ended, Cuomo reiterated to his viewers, "He's my big brother. I love him. Of course, I'm not objective, but let's call it straight. Look at the state, look at the numbers… Yes, he's my brother. There's no question. I can cry about it in a second, but the results are there for all to see. Was it perfect? No, you tell me what is, but look at the state our country's in. And if you don't think this is going to be reflected in what happens in November, then you haven't been paying attention."Mediaite even published a roundup of criticism, noting that the CNN segment was "torn apart by commentators on both sides of the aisle."CUOMO SAYS ‘NOBODY’ SHOULD BE PROSECUTED OVER CORONAVIRUS DEATHS AMID CRITICISM OVER NURSING HOME POLICYThe older Cuomo, who his little brother sometimes playfully refers to as the "Love Gov.," has since blamed the Trump administration for a variety of COVID-related issues plaguing his state. Cuomo has also defended the nursing home policy as in-line with guidance from the Trump administration at the time.Along the way, Cuomo emerged as a darling of the liberal media, wrote a book about leadership and was even awarded an Emmy Award for his coronavirus briefings. Now it turns out that the nursing home scandal in Cuomo’s state was even worse than initially thought, according to New York’s attorney general.James' report said that government guidance requiring the admission of COVID-19 patients into nursing homes may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities and may have obscured the data available to assess that risk.The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) asked 62 nursing homes to provide data about deaths in their facilities. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPIn one example, a facility reported five confirmed and six presumed COVID-19 deaths at the facility as of Aug. 3 to the Department of Health, yet reported to the OAG a total of 27 COVID-19 deaths at the facility and 13 hospital deaths — a discrepancy of 29 deaths.Former CNN digital producer Steve Krakauer, who is now a media watchdogs and editor of the Fourth Watch, tweeted a New York Times article about James’ report and pondered if "Cuomo Prime Time" will bother to cover the news."Absolutely damning," Krakauer wrote. "Wonder if it shows up on CNN at 9pm?"Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.


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