Grieving families organized a mock funeral for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “leadership and integrity” in Brooklyn on Sunday.
Many of those who survived the loss of family members in New York nursing homes during the course of the global coronavirus pandemic gathered for a demonstration in front of Brownstone Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill Health Center on Sunday afternoon. A silver casket was laid open on the sidewalk filled with 6,500 copies of American Crisis, the Democrat governor’s book on “leadership lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Those covers represented the approximate number of nursing home residents lost to the novel coronavirus over the course of 2020. Demonstrators, however, count the number much higher. “My mother-in-law got COVID in an elder-care facility but died in a hospital, [so] her number does not count,’’ Fox & Friends meteorologist Janice Dean told the press.
Cuomo boasted about bringing the infamous “curve” down in April. He criticized nursing homes’ “greed” in accepting patients who had tested positive — then pled ignorance of his own March 25 mandate that they do so. Then, during a speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Cuomo said his administration’s way “worked,” and “it was beautiful.”
The demonstrators struggled to see that beauty. “At the very beginning, I wouldn’t have blamed anyone,’’ Dean said, speaking of her family member’s death. “We were in the middle of a pandemic.” It was Cuomo himself who changed her mind. “I saw the governor on CNN and the various talk shows, talking about his love life and talking about how he brought the curve down to nothing,” she remembered. “The first thing he should have said was, ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’”
Cuomo maintains that the only way to have kept nursing homes safe would have been to put them in a “hermetically sealed bubble,” and continues to claim that his state’s coronavirus policies around protecting nursing homes are the “most aggressive” in the country. But demonstrators — including protest organizer Peter Arbeeny — want to see the Democrat star put his proverbial money where his mouth is. Arbeeny complained that Cuomo “hasn’t given us an independent investigation, so we can get to the truth.”
The families in front of you deserve to know the truth,” he said. “We are all COVID orphans now.”