Washington Post columnist Max Boot raised eyebrows on Monday for his praise of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a column titled “New York has flattened its curve. The Sun Belt has been flattened by it,” Boot said New York did a “laudable job” in handling the spread of the virus, pointing out the disciplined mask-wearing and social-distancing by New Yorkers.
“New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has made his share of blunders, including the decision to return patients with covid-19 to nursing homes, but he has gotten the big things right,” Boot wrote. “He has mandated masks, he has told the truth, and he has been properly cautious about reopening. Even now, restaurants and bars in New York City are closed for indoor dining and drinking. Movie theaters and gyms are shuttered entirely. Perhaps because we have been hit so hard and scarred so deeply, we treat the coronavirus as a merciless foe worthy of respect.”
Boot, who is also a CNN analyst, was panned on social media for being so complimentary to Cuomo.
“Actually Cuomo has gotten the big things wrong and has lied about it,” Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy wrote.
“Aside from consigning the old and infirm to a death sentence, Cuomo has been amazing!” journalist Jason Mattera said.
“The death of thousands resulting from his disastrous nursing home order is a ‘blunder?'” The Blaze’s Jessica O’Donnell asked.
Through much of the coronavirus outbreak, there has been growing scrutiny over Gov. Cuomo’s order in late March that forced nursing homes to accept patients who tested positive for coronavirus, despite testing deficiencies for both residents and staff. Cuomo signed an executive order on May 11 reversing the policy, stopping hospitals from sending infected patients back to nursing homes and ramping up testing for staff.
As of last month, roughly 7,900 people have either been confirmed or presumed dead from COVID-19 in nursing homes in New York, according to the state’s health department. That equates to approximately 25 percent of all deaths in the state have occurred in nursing homes, per the latest state total from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Earlier this month, The Associated Press reported that “New York hospitals released more than 6,300 recovering coronavirus patients into nursing homes during the height” of the coronavirus pandemic under a “controversial, now-scrapped policy.”