Disgraced grandma-killer, alleged sexual harasser, and former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo cropped up on Sunday to blame “cancel culture” for his sins catching up to him, demanding a chance to “tell my truth.”
Cuomo started the speech with a self-pitying remark that “I’ve gone through a difficult period,” complaining that “the press roasted me” and “my colleagues were ridiculed, my brother was fired.” Later in the address, he blamed “the political sharks in Albany” who “smelled blood and exploited the situation for their own political purpose.”
He had the audacity to construe himself as the victim, whining “Twitter and newspaper headlines have replaced a judge and a jury.” He went on to bizarrely blame Tea Party Republicans for creating a “cancel culture” that is “about intolerance and exclusion” before throwing in an accusation that former President Trump is “the transcendent threat to our nation’s very democracy.”
Cuomo used the fact that none of his criminal allegations of sexual misconduct have been brought to trial to feign victimhood. He blamed New York Attorney General Letitia James, who launched a brief campaign to become the governor of New York last October, for politicizing her probe into his behavior. (And maybe she did, although that doesn’t automatically make Cuomo’s accusers’ stories untrue.)
Cuomo doesn’t get to pull the cancel culture card, though. I don’t say that just because he seems like a despicable, slimy person, although he does. I don’t say it because cancel culture’s biggest victims are the everyday, non-famous people who lose jobs, friends, and reputations for infractions against what the left deems acceptable, although that’s absolutely true.
Nor do I say that because Cuomo is a leftist, and the corrupt leftist media/Big Tech cabal is nearly always the perpetrator of actual “cancel culture” against their political opponents. Although that’s also true; after trying to shut down everyone from Nick Sandmann and Kyle Rittenhouse to then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh based on nothing but salacious lies, Democrats don’t get to suddenly complain when they’re bit by their own pitbull.
Remember: when Kavanaugh was confirmed, Cuomo himself released a statement saying it would “haunt us for as long as he is on the court” and “To Dr. Blasey Ford and all survivors of sexual assault, we believe you and we will fight for you.” He’s also said “There must be zero tolerance for sexual harassment in any workplace.” (Careful what you ask for, bud.)
But that’s not the main reason Cuomo doesn’t deserve to cry “cancel culture.”
The truth is, Cuomo has gotten off lucky. As bad as the allegations of groping and other sex pest behavior are, they don’t rise to the level of sending thousands of New York’s most vulnerable to their agonizing deaths, then trying to cover the scandal up — yet that’s exactly what he did.
In a March 25, 2020 directive, the Cuomo administration notified nursing homes that they would be required to accept Covid-positive residents, at a time Covid was not yet endemic. This policy saw more than 9,000 Covid patients sent into nursing homes, where thousands of grandmothers and grandfathers subsequently died alone, barred from spending their last moments with their families.
An initial state report of Covid deaths in nursing homes showed 8,740 deaths, many no doubt caused by the consequences of Cuomo’s directive.
But then, a previously unpublished number came out that was far higher: 12,743 deaths. An investigation by Attorney General James found Cuomo had undercounted the initially reported number by as much as 50 percent. Shortly afterward, Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa confessed that his office had purposefully hidden the real numbers, for fear of a federal probe.
Cuomo’s financial ties to hospitals that pushed to send their patients into nursing homes make the scandal even more sinister. As Federalist contributors Willis Krumholz and Robert Delahunty explained a year ago:
The State Health Department ‘compelled nursing homes to accept patients who had tested positive for coronavirus.’ The policy was pushed by the non-profit hospital association, the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA). … The GNYHA is ‘one of the most influential forces in New York politics.’ Cuomo received $1 million from GNYHA in his reelection campaign, and the donation was engineered to remain secret until after his inauguration.
Sexual harassment by powerful men is bad. So is the falsification or concealment of information relating to a deadly infectious disease and government wrongdoing. But far, far worse is using political and legal authority to cause the agonizing deaths of a large number of elderly and other vulnerable people confined to nursing homes, and to do that as a cynical favor to monied corporate donors.
In a truly just world, Cuomo would be brought to account for his politically motivated and criminally deadly actions, not just for being an alleged perv. His sexual harassment allegations gave his media fan club a way to get him out of the public eye without a firestorm over the nursing home scandal, and if Cuomo was smart, he’d be thankful.