CNN’s website has gone 12 hours without covering the bombshell Wall Street Journal report that top advisers to embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo influenced state health officials to remove data from a public report that showed coronavirus-related nursing-home deaths in the state had exceeded numbers previously acknowledged by the administration.
CNN, the network that employs the governor’s little brother Chris Cuomo, covered the report Friday morning on air but has avoided it online through 11 a.m. ET on Friday, more than 12 hours after the Journal reported the latest development in the nursing home scandal.
CNN’s verified Twitter account had not mentioned the report after 12 hours either.
CNN’s Twitter account has 53.1 million followers, so the decision to cover the story on air but not online presumably shields the damning information from millions of people.
CNN had long been accused of covering for the governor as it allowed Chris Cuomo to conduct a series of widely panned, playful chats disguised as interviews at the height of the pandemic while largely ignoring the nursing home scandal. Once the governor started to face criticism, CNN implemented a policy that banned his brother from covering the story.
Cuomo also faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment, which the network has recently covered on air and online after being initially slow to cover the claims. In fact, on Friday morning “Andrew Cuomo” was listed among the trending topics on CNN’s website but clicking on his name brought readers to a story about the sexual harassment scandal while the site was silent on the latest developments in the nursing home crisis.
The New York Times matched the WSJ nursing home story on Thursday night, too, but CNN’s website didn’t pick up the Gray Lady’s version either. CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake admitted this week that his network has to cover damning news about his brother, but it appears CNN’s digital team missed the memo.
The lack of online coverage of the embattled governor was also noticed Thursday morning by Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics.
CNN’s digital audience has so far been in the dark about details that emerged Thursday night when the Wall Street Journal broke the news that a report from health officials focused only on nursing-home residents who died inside those facilities and did not include nursing-home residents who were transferred to hospitals after becoming sick.
That means the state’s reported tally of 6,432 nursing-home resident deaths was significantly lower than the actual nursing-home death toll, sources with knowledge of the state report’s preparation told the newspaper.
State officials now place the nursing-home and long-term-care facility death toll in New York at more than 15,000 residents, the Journal reported. The number represents deaths since March 2020 of residents confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus or presumed to have contracted it, the report said.
Cuomo has defended his administration’s actions regarding the nursing-home deaths, saying state officials had followed federal guidance and worked to manage hospital capacity as the virus spread, the Journal reported.
The July report was produced after state lawmakers and families of people who died raised questions about a March 25, 2020, directive from the state Health Department about the policies regarding nursing-home patients and the coronavirus – a directive that critics claimed may have fostered the spread of the virus.
Then on Feb. 10 of this year, Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa told state lawmakers that state officials delayed releasing nursing-home data last year, fearing at the time it might spark a federal investigation from the Trump administration. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division had begun seeking data from New York and other states last August, the Journal reported.
Fox News’ Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.