New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has sparked outrage after warning younger people could end up killing their own grandmas if they refuse to get vaccinated.
During Monday’s press conference, Cuomo said that the state was now focusing its attention on persuading the ‘youthful’ and ‘doubtful’ to get the vaccine.
He warned of the consequences of not being vaccinated, saying ‘maybe you go home and kiss your grandmother, and wind up killing your grandmother.’
But the governor was slammed by critics for blaming unvaccinated people for endangering elderly people in the wake of the state’s nursing home scandal.
It emerged last week that Cuomo’s office spent at least five months trying to prevent the true COVID-19 nursing home death toll from being made public.
At the start of the pandemic, Cuomo also banned nursing homes from rejecting recovering coronavirus patients who were released from hospital – a move which has been blamed for spreading the virus in the state’s care homes.
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean blasted: ‘He has some nerve shaming others for possibly endangering their grandparents.’
The coronavirus became personal for Dean after both of her parents-in-law died from the disease in New York nursing homes.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has urged ‘youthful’ and ‘doubtful’ people to get the vaccine
Janice Dean a meteorologist at Fox News accused the governor of having ‘nerve’ going after people who were unvaccinated visiting their elderly relatives in the wake of the state’s home scandal.
Fox News colleague Harris Faulkner hit out at Cuomo on Outnumbered, saying: ‘He should just stop talking’.
Guest Karl Rove added: ‘That overshadowed what he wanted to do, which was, say that the youthful and doubtful ought to go get vaccinated.
‘Instead we’ll be talking about what he did earlier in the crisis by putting Covid patients into nursing homes, thereby killing grandma and a lot of grandpas too.’
Cuomo has come under intense scrutiny over his nursing home COVID-19 response after he barred nursing homes from rejecting recovering coronavirus patients being discharged from hospitals in March.
He eventually rescinded his nursing home order two months later and insisted on a negative COVID test instead before return to a nursing home. Some nursing homes complained at the time that residents were being put at risk because of his policy.
Some patients who contracted COVID but later died in hospital were not counted in the official death count being released by Cuomo’s administration.
The administration refused for months to release more complete data and the true death toll was only released this year after a report by the New York state attorney general found deaths had been undercounted by about half.
Cuomo suggested that young people had an attitude that ‘they believe they’ll be fine’
The state now acknowledges that at least 15,000 long-term care residents died, compared to a figure of 8,700 it had publicized as of late January that didn’t include residents who died after being transferred to hospitals.
Cuomo, at the time, admitted it was a mistake to delay releasing the figures but insisted they were not trying to obscure the death toll.
Sources now say, however, that state health officials started trying to work out how many nursing home residents had died as early as late April.
Top Cuomo aides were engaged in the months-long effort where they repeatedly overruled and prevented state health officials from releasing the number of nursing home deaths, the New York Times reports.
The efforts included stopping the publication of a scientific paper that included the true tally. Aides also stopped health officials from sending two letters to state legislators regarding the toll, according to the Times.
Among the health officials who were allegedly stopped from releasing the true numbers was state health commissioner Dr Howard Zucker.
It was happening at a time when Cuomo was writing his since-released book about his handling of his pandemic.
Cuomo’s latest comments about young people killing their grandparents was met with fury on Twitter.
One user wrote: ‘Why hasn’t he been criminally charged?’
‘How the hell is he still in office not impeached yet?’ asked another.
‘Speaking from experience with killing everyone else’s grandmother,’ tweeted another.
‘Over 15,000 elderly are no longer with us thanks in part to his deadly policy to re-admit infected patients into nursing homes. If anyone knows how to kill a grandma, it’s Andrew Cuomo.’
Twitter users were furious with Cuomo’s instructions at younger people to get vaccinated with the threat that they might end up killing their own grandmother
Cuomo has previously said he didn’t cover up deaths but acknowledged that officials should have moved faster to release some information sought by lawmakers, the public and the press.
‘All the deaths in the nursing homes and hospitals were always fully, publicly and accurately reported,’ Cuomo claimed.
He explained the matter as a difference of ‘categorization,’ with the state counting where deaths occurred and others seeking total deaths of nursing home residents, regardless of the location.
‘We should have done a better job of providing as much information as we could as quickly as we could,’ he said. ‘No excuses: I accept responsibility for that.’
‘We should not have created the void [of information]. We should have done a better job of providing information and knocking down conspiracy theories.
‘We did not take enough action and the pain is it created confusion, cynicism and pain for the families of a loved one.’