CNN host Chris Cuomo used his platform to defend his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as the executive faced scrutiny and criticism over his coronavirus response.
The New York governor has been a reoccurring guest on his brother’s cable news show throughout the pandemic, a spot criticized for violating traditional journalistic ethics of appearing impartial and objective.
“Me having you on the show is an unusual thing. We’ve never really done it, but this was an unusual time and there were unusual needs,” Chris Cuomo said in the last moments of a Wednesday interview.
The CNN host credited his brother for stepping up “in an unusual way that really was created by a vacuum of power on the federal level,” repeating criticisms of President Trump’s pandemic strategy of largely letting state governors determine the proper response for their states. Chris Cuomo also acknowledged his conflict of interest in interviewing his brother: “I won’t always be able to keep having you on the show. It will never be seen as fair in people’s eyes and we both get that and that’s okay.”
Before ending the interview, however, Chris Cuomo praised his brother for the governor’s performance over the past three months as New York remains the worst-hit state by the coronavirus in the U.S.
“I hope you are able to appreciate what you did in your state,” the host said. “I’m wowed by what you did and more importantly, I’m wowed by how you did it.”
“Obviously, I’ll never be objective. Obviously, I think you’re the best politician in the country, but I hope you feel good about what you did for your people, because I know they appreciate it,” he continued. “Nothing’s perfect, you’ll have your critics, but I’ve never seen anything like what you did and that’s why I’m so happy to have had you on the show, and I hope you know that.”
Not objective but true,the facts tell the story.NY had & has its struggles but they're doing way better than what we see elsewhere & no way that happens without the Luv Guv dishing the real 24/7.He works with relentless intensity & NY's better for it.And as a brother, I am proud. pic.twitter.com/M1TrAtQwCo
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) June 25, 2020
Gov. Cuomo, along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, oversaw a confused and delayed pandemic response that contributed significantly to the spread of the outbreak in New York City, according to investigations by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Gov. Cuomo’s response also had a far-reaching impact for the rest of the nation, according to a May study on the virus’ spread throughout the United States. Yale School of Public Health epidemiologist Nathan Grubaugh said New York was likely “the primary gateway” for the virus into and across the US, with choices made by state and local officials exacerbating the spread.
Arguably the most targeted criticism Cuomo has faced has been over his decision to send coronavirus-positive but recovering patients to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The governor barred nursing homes from turning away medically-stable patients who had been hospitalized with the coronavirus, without regard for whether they were contagious. The policy resulted in thousands of people with Covid-19 being placed in nursing homes among some of the most vulnerable people.
The governor has dismissed taking responsibility for the high fatality rate from the disease among New York’s elderly population. He blamed President Trump for his state’s slow response because “the federal government missed the boat and never told us this virus was coming from Europe and not from China,” Cuomo told NSNBC on Tuesday.
Author: Tim Pearce