It’s amazing what elementary feats of journalism can be performed when the political spheres line up. After a year of praising Governor Cuomo’s genius, touting him as a sex symbol, and ignoring the giant pile of corpses, the media decided he would be better off replaced by an unfiltered socialist.
And, in between the usual #MeToo stuff, the media is doing the work on the nursing home deaths that it should have done a year ago.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top advisers successfully pushed state health officials to strip a public report of data showing that more nursing-home residents had died of Covid-19 than the administration had acknowledged, according to people with knowledge of the report’s production.
The July report, which examined the factors that led to the spread of the virus in nursing homes, focused only on residents who died inside long-term-care facilities, leaving out those who had died in hospitals after becoming sick in nursing homes. As a result, the report said 6,432 nursing-home residents had died—a significant undercount of the death toll attributed to the state’s most vulnerable population, the people said. The initial version of the report said nearly 10,000 nursing-home residents had died in New York by July last year, one of the people said.
The changes Mr. Cuomo’s aides and health officials made to the nursing-home report, which haven’t been previously disclosed, reveal that the state possessed a fuller accounting of out-of-facility nursing-home deaths as early as the summer. The Health Department resisted calls by state and federal lawmakers, media outlets and others to release the data for another eight months.
It’s not that the media didn’t know that the authorities were stonewalling on nursing home deaths. They even reported it. I know because I was covering the story for most of last year. The media just buried the lede, couched it in passive voice language, and didn’t make that into the story.
It’s no surprise that all the governor’s men were doing this. The media however let them do it. Few questions were asked. And those questions were mainly in passing. The media didn’t really want answers. Some local reporters did their job, but few editors showed any interest.
This isn’t some big revelation. It’s the media belatedly doing its job because the politics have lined up with the story.
But even so this will get a fraction of the coverage that the #MeToo stuff will.