Janice Dean, the senior meteorologist for Fox News, on Monday condemned New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo for requiring nursing homes last spring to take in patients infected with COVID-19.
Dean's story is personal, as she lost both of her husband's parents to the coronavirus after they were exposed in a nursing home.
Estimates of the number who died as a result of Cuomo's policy, which purportedly was to keep hospital beds open, range from 6,500 to much higher.
"Two of those deaths were my husband’s parents, Mickey and Dee Newman, both of whom contracted the virus in their separate elder care facilities in New York City," Dean wrote in a column for FoxNews.com.
"I believe the deaths of thousands of seniors who have died from COVID in New York State could’ve been prevented, and that’s the reason why I became an advocate over the last eight months trying to expose Cuomo’s own 'mistakes and shortcomings,' while the national media crown him as one of their finest politicians," Dean said.
"Had the governor admitted his terrible decisions instead of making posters, plastic mountains and coronavirus artwork, many of us would’ve forgiven him. Had he written condolence cards instead of books about 'leadership' I probably would not be speaking up on behalf of other grieving families," she said.
"Perhaps in lieu of joking around with his brother on CNN about his love life, doing puff pieces with People magazine or submitting videotape for the Emmy Awards, the governor could have been meeting with families and expressing sorrow for their loss," she said.
Dean pointed out that Cuomo found time during the pandemic to write a book, "American Crisis," which "has lined his pockets as he continues to profit off the deaths of tens of thousands of New Yorkers."
In March, Cuomo was on television "dismissing the severity of the coronavirus and instead was worried about the vaping crisis in New York."
No lockdowns, he said on March 18. But then he closed New York.
A short time later he issued the order "that helped kill thousands of seniors."
It came despite Cuomo saying: "Who are we worried about? Seniors, compromised immune system, people with underlying illnesses. Where are the places we're really worried about? Nursing homes, senior congregate facilities."
He even helped create "Matilda's law," named after his mother, to "protect" seniors.
It was on March 25 that care facilities were required to take COVID patients and were banned from testing them.
"When I look back on our own family experience it comes down to this: The dangerous people (those who were recovering from COVID-19) were forced into nursing homes, putting others in extreme danger. And people that could make a difference in the residents’ physical and emotional well-being (the family members) still, as of this date, are not being allowed into those facilities," Dean wrote.
"My in-laws never had last rites performed by a Catholic priest, they died alone. And, besides a quick graveside burial service, we never had a wake or funeral. I’m stating this because thousands of families went through the same tragic process."
She cited Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, who owns and operates Van Rensselaer Manor nursing home, saying "you have to question the motives behind the order because it defies logic and a basic understanding of medicine and senior care."
In the 46 days after the order, "over 6,000 COVID positive patients were accepted into those tinderboxes, resulting in viral brush fires that killed thousands. We still don’t have the exact total number of those who were killed because New York is the only state that doesn’t count those who caught the virus in their elder care facilities but died in the hospital."
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether New York is undercounting coronavirus deaths among nursing home residents and and has demanded information from hundreds of private facilities. But the state is stonewalling, Dean said.
Meanwhile, she said, Cuomo has blamed "God, Mother Nature, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President Trump, the New York Post, Fox News, nursing home workers, and nursing home visitors" for the deaths.
She linked to her column on Twitter:
Your mistakes cost us the lives of our family members, @NYGovCuomo. But rest assured, we, the People will be strong in our fight for answers and accountability. And the more you try to silence us, the louder our voices will become. https://t.co/4d7PyCFCkr
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) January 4, 2021