Janice Dean Leads An Army Of New Yorkers Who Want Cuomo Held Accountable For Deadly COVID Decisions

Janice Dean Leads An Army Of New Yorkers Who Want Cuomo Held Accountable For Deadly COVID Decisions

Dean believes Cuomo's policies mandating that hospitals return infected COVID-19 patients to nursing homes caused her in-laws' sudden deaths. 
Jordan Davidson
By

Janice Dean began this year as Fox News’s senior meteorologist, but she’s emerging from 2020 with another title: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s biggest critic. In the last few months, Dean has devoted herself to writing, tweeting, giving speeches, and imploring officials and the public to do something about the lives lost to COVID-19 due to Cuomo’s reckless policies.

Her newfound passion for this accountability mission, while a public endeavor, is personal. At the beginning of the coronavirus lockdowns in March, Dean lost both of her New York in-laws, one in an assisted living facility and the other in a nursing home, to coronavirus.

“They died of coronavirus alone,” Dean explained on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “We never had a funeral…we weren’t able to see them before they died.”

Dean believes Cuomo’s policies mandating that hospitals return infected COVID-19 patients to nursing homes caused her in-laws’ sudden deaths. On March 25, Cuomo mandated that hospitals discharge elderly patients with COVID-19 back to nursing homes, like the ones where Dean’s in-laws were staying. The order extended for more than a month, leading to the infection of thousands of vulnerable people in close quarters with contagious co-residents.

While New York’s nursing home death count policy is under scrutiny for potentially underestimating the number of actual infections and deaths, at least 6,660 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic in New York nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It is estimated that there are now 49.2 COVID-19 deaths per 1,000 residents in New York nursing homes

This frustrated Dean. Not only did she lack answers about her family members’ deaths, but the corporate media wasn’t covering it and no one was holding Cuomo accountable.

“I have not seen the coverage of this,” she said. “This should be one of the biggest stories of this pandemic, of 2020. Twenty percent of our lost loved ones are from nursing homes. And, it’s because Governor Cuomo, and several other Governors, by the way, in different states, forced COVID-recovering patients into nursing homes.”

Dean’s loss and frustration was heartbreaking, and she quickly found she wasn’t alone. Using her platform on social media and at Fox News, Dean quickly rose to be one of the most prominent and proactive voices calling for answers from Cuomo about his fatal mistake. Not only has Dean spoken out on broadcast television, press conferences, and to other people who lost loved ones, she also wrote an article in USA Today expressing her outrage at Cuomo and calling for a “non-partisan investigation into his deadly policy failures.

“The man who said, ‘I assume full responsibility’ and ‘If you are upset by what we have done, be upset at me,’ has never taken that responsibility,” Dean noted.

“The fact that this governor refuses to accept responsibility for his actions makes our grief and anger far worse,” she wrote. “I know I speak for many when I say we need a non-partisan investigation on both the state and federal level so that this never happens again.”

The recent release of Cuomo’s “fictional” book, Dean said, simply added to the afflicted families’ grief.

“What governor has the time to write a book if we’re in the middle of a pandemic…to profit off of the 30,000 plus that have died?” Dean said, speaking to a crowd of people advocating for their dead loved ones in Brooklyn in October. 

While Dean has made headlines with her outspokenness, her journey hasn’t been easy. In early October, Dean’s USA Today article was censored by Twitter’s new retweet policy, which urges users to read an article before sharing it.

“I couldn’t believe that an article I wrote, promoted by me, was flagged by Twitter warning people ‘THEY SHOULD READ IT’ before retweeting,” Dean told The Federalist.

“I feel like there are so many other people Jack Dorsey and his Twitter police could be slapping warnings on or giving tickets to instead of someone who lost family members to COVID, thanks in part to the governor’s deadly policies,” she added.

She also faces a risk of backlash due to her position and vocal criticism of the governor. Despite this risk, Dean says she won’t “stop fighting.” For her, it’s personal.

Dean’s fight, she says, is not political. She simply wants answers.

“It doesn’t matter where I work. It doesn’t matter who I voted for. It doesn’t matter who my in-laws voted for. They are in New Yorkers,” she said.

“The fact that [Cuomo] is going on every single program and barely gets asked the question about the nursing homes makes our grief worse,” she explained. “I am not here because of where I work or who I voted for. I am here to support all of these wonderful people that are now part of my family because we need answers as to what happened and why it happened.”

“This is not political. It’s about accountability,” Dean repeats.

Because of her efforts to raise awareness and spark an investigation into Cuomo’s handling of COVID-19,  several prominent New York Republicans hope that Dean will consider running for office in the future.

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.

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