New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 policies have been heavily criticized throughout the pandemic. Cuomo has received backlash for implementing many of his programs while ignoring health experts, leading to at least nine of New York’s top health officials leaving their posts due to his handling of the pandemic.
Many of the health officials left because the governor ignored their advice, which Cuomo alluded to during one of his most recent press conferences.
When referring to the government experts, Cuomo told the press, “When I say ‘experts’ in air quotes, it sounds like I’m saying I don’t really trust the experts, because I don’t. Because I don’t.”
Cuomo has stated numerous times that former President Trump ‘ignored’ the experts when creating his pandemic plan.
New York health officials have claimed that Cuomo has issued several orders without notifying health department staff, forcing healthcare workers and officials to adjust to new policies with little information.
The latest incident that health care officials have complained about was Cuomo’s vaccine distribution plan. Cuomo scrapped a plan that health officials had been working on for nearly two decades, which had originally begun development following bioterrorism fears after the September 11th attack in 2001.
Instead, Cuomo met with hospital executives and put hospitals in charge of vaccinating its employees and the residents within the area. Critics have stated that Cuomo’s plan put people in charge of vaccination with little to no prior training on how to handle the program.
Governor Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic has recently been put under a microscope after New York’s Attorney General Letitia James opened an investigation into the state’s coronavirus nursing home deaths. James’ ongoing investigation determined that nursing home deaths had been undercounted by 50% in some places. Leading critics to claim that the Cuomo administration and the DOH attempted to cover up the nursing home death count.
When asked about his handling of the pandemic, Cuomo pushed the blame on the federal government, claiming, “What I would say is everyone did the best they could. When I say the State Department of Health, as the report said, the State Department of Health followed federal guidance. So if you think there was a mistake, then go talk to the federal government. It’s not about pointing fingers of blame. It’s that this became a political football, right? Look, whether a person died in the hospital or died in a nursing home, it’s, the people died. People died.”