During an emotional appearance on Fox News Thursday, the network’s senior meteorologist, Janice Dean, reacted to a bombshell report revealing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) administration underreported the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%.
Dean, whose in-laws died of COVID-19 in separate nursing homes last spring, has been a vocal critic of the progressive governor, calling on him to accept responsibility for the policies he put in place — namely, a March 2020 order from his Department of Health that barred nursing homes and elder-care facilities from denying admission or re-admission to residents who tested positive for COVID-19 or were believed to have been infected with the virus.
“Finally, today, there is a ray of light — there is sunshine in darkness,” Dean told her Fox News colleague Harris Faulkner, adding she only decided to speak up because her family was impacted by Cuomo’s policies and she “wasn’t seeing” any questions being asked of his handling of the pandemic.
In fact, earlier this month, a senior adviser to Cuomo, who authored a book about his handling of the pandemic in the middle of the pandemic, rebuked Dean for speaking out at all, launching an insensitive and offensive line of attack against her.
Rich Azzopardi told Dean’s sister-in-law to “get a life and a clue” and disregarded Dean as “not a credible source on anything except maybe the weather.”
But, according to state Attorney General Letitia James, it appears there is a lot of truth behind what Dean has been saying now for nearly a year.
The 76-page report, the result of weeks worth of investigation, found that, when considering the number of nursing home residents who died of COVID-19 while in hospitals (something Cuomo doesn’t want done), the total number of fatalities linked to elder-care facilities more than doubles.
Cuomo, for his part, has denied any sort of responsibility.
He has blamed hospital workers, “Mother Nature,” and even God for the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes around his state. Cuomo even conducted an internal investigation of himself and concluded he bore no responsibility for the deaths that happened on his watch.
Even though this report won’t bring Dean’s in-laws back, she said Thursday she is grateful for this first step toward accountability.
“When I saw the report and knew it was coming, probably an hour before it was released, I called my husband and I called my sister-in-law,” she told Faulkner. “I said that maybe the angels won. Maybe the angels will have their day in court and maybe this governor will be held accountable.”