To some, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s early pandemic nursing home policy was a disastrous mistake; to others, a crime. For President Joe Biden, it represented the gold standard. Is that still the case now that Cuomo is no longer the protected golden boy of the left? With White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dancing around the question and the president avoiding it entirely, it’s difficult to tell. But Psaki did say the president will continue to work with Cuomo, “just like we work with governors across the country,” even if she won’t “give new labels or names from the president.”
With all the public outrage against Governor Death and even his own staffers turning on him, how long can Biden ignore this millstone around his neck before it pulls him under, too?
The Fall of a Golden Boy
Liberty Nation’s Leesa K. Donner probably said it best: “Putting people with COVID into nursing homes may be a dereliction of duty, but lying about the number of deaths caused by such an action and then covering it up constitute political suicide.” Is it any wonder an investigation seems imminent? For all her efforts to shift the blame onto Trump, secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa all but confessed to a crime on behalf of the Cuomo administration.
“We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” she rambled. In much simpler form: We didn’t tell the truth because we were afraid it would result in an investigation.
This seems to call for a public service announcement for anyone who hopes to stay out of trouble: The best way to avoid federal investigations into actions that result in numerous lives lost is to avoid them entirely. Failing that, covering up the truth just makes one look guilty – and, of course, like it wasn’t an accident. Finally, for those who find themselves this far down the rabbit hole, publicly admitting to covering up the truth to avoid an investigation is probably the best way to guarantee one.
As can be expected, this didn’t go over well with the public, the press, or other politicians in New York and D.C. And since Democrat solidarity at all costs is no longer needed to put Biden in the White House, even Cuomo’s fellow leftists in governance and the Fourth Estate are ready to drop him like a bad habit.
Biden’s Bad Optics
President Biden is having a tough time of late as well. Those on the right have pointed for years to the elder statesman’s integrity problem, but now it seems the more progressive elements of the Democratic Party are catching on. Black Lives Matter and Antifa continued to engage in mostly peaceful protests, racking up millions of dollars in damage with no end in sight, while it seems Biden wouldn’t deliver on the promises they felt he had made. At a recent town hall, Biden balked at the idea of erasing up to $50,000 of student debt per borrower by executive order – and that was a suggestion straight from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Biden also met with Cuomo and other governors to discuss the president’s American Rescue Plan. They did not discuss the disastrous nursing-home decision by Cuomo or the fact that afterward Biden called Cuomo the gold standard in leadership. Evidently, it wasn’t relevant to the topic at hand – a COVID relief bill that earmarks more than $50 billion for New York.
The president hasn’t spoken a word about it since, but Psaki was asked about it directly by ABC’s Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl during an appearance on This Week: “So does President Biden still consider Andrew Cuomo ‘the gold standard’ when it comes to leadership on the pandemic?” After much hemming and hawing about working with governors of various states and there being “a process,” Psaki finally said, when pressed, that “it doesn’t always have to be a yes or no answer. I think the president is focused on his goal, his objective as president of the United States.” She reiterated that he would continue to work with Cuomo and that she isn’t “here to give new labels or names from the president, I’m here to communicate with you about what our focuses are and what his objectives are as president.”
Nearly every time Biden opens his mouth, it seems his foot is soon to enter – yet somehow he has managed to keep his head above the political waters for years, even when, for a time, he seemed sure to drown. But with the left quickly losing faith in their new messiah and the New York governor’s pedestal crumbling beneath him, will Biden have to cut ties with Cuomo to avoid being pulled under?
Read more from James Fite.