Satirical news outlet The Onion roasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a new take on his mushrooming sexual harassment scandal, cracking that he was so eager to change the conversation he was looking to pivot public attention back to the COVID-19 nursing home death imbroglio.
“Cuomo Increasingly Desperate To Shift Focus Back Onto Nursing Home Deaths,” a headline blared on the website of the parody outlet on Wednesday, one day after investigators retained by state Attorney General Letitia James announced their determination that the governor sexually harassed 11 women in violation of state and federal law.
The send-up featured a mock quote from “a visibly panicked Cuomo” as he showed reporters a slideshow presentation packed with damning evidence on the nursing home scandal.
“Of course, I appreciate the concern about these women’s allegations, but let’s not forget that I made a concerted effort to cover up the deaths of 9,250 seniors who died because of my negligence—that’s really what we should be talking about, right?” the piece quoted the governor as saying.
“Let’s look at the facts here,” the epic takedown also had Cuomo saying. “I sent throngs of sick senior citizens into New York nursing homes. That’s a terrible decision. Then I cooked the books so that no one knew the toll of my incompetence. Insane, huh? That’s front page, above-the-fold news that’ll last dozens of news cycles, if I’ve ever heard it. I don’t know, guys. Maybe focus on that.”
In a parting shot, the piece concluded that Cuomo additionally announced “that he was also an open book if any reporters wanted to talk about the corruption allegations against him.”
A massive bipartisan coalition of politicians — all the way up to President Biden, a fellow Democrat — has called on Cuomo, 63, to resign.
He has firmly resisted the pressure, continuing to maintain that he never touched anyone inappropriately.
Ambulance workers load a COVID-19 patient onto a vehicle at Cobble Hill Health center in Brooklyn on April 23, 2020. Richard Harbus
Prior to the first public allegation of sexual harassment in Dec. 2020, the governor was already facing intense scrutiny over a March 2020 directive barring nursing homes from turning away residents on the basis of a coronavirus diagnosis.
The infamous order is alleged to have contributed to the thousands of resident deaths tallied in the homes, and the scandal remains a subject of an ongoing probe by the FBI and the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office.