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A New York nursing home administrator has reportedly admitted that he and other administrators in the state were “petrified” when Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered coronavirus patients to be funneled into their facilities last spring.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News reportedly set to air Thursday, administrator Michael Kraus said that “many facilities” expressed concern and were “petrified” of what might happen but were even “more petrified of the Department of Health.”
He apparently felt the same, because he only tried raising the issue once, but to no avail.
“Once it was shot down, I never spoke [about it] again,” he said in the segment set to air on “America Reports” Thursday.
(Source: Fox News)
Not that Kraus still doesn’t deserve credit.
Proud of Michael Kraus who is one of the few nursing home administrators brave enough to talk. “Many facilities vocalized it. They were petrified, but they were more petrified of the Department of Health … once it [my concern] was shot down, I never spoke [about it] again.”
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) March 18, 2021
The fact is that the governor apparently has a history of harassing and persecuting anyone who dares to question his authority.
In an essay published in Vanity Fair magazine last week, Cuomo’s former biography cited several examples of this, including one from his 1997 to 2001 tenure as the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“At [HUD], Andrew Cuomo—serving as HUD’s assistant secretary and then as the youngest-ever head of the agency—did what he’d done as his father’s go-to guy in the governor’s mansion. He stuck close to his tight circle of insiders—and hammered a goodly number of underlings,” biographer Michael Shnayerson revealed.
Cuomo also reportedly “called older civil service staffers ‘white heads’ (deriding their hair color as a sign of their advanced age) or ‘f–kheads’ or ‘dumb f–ks.’ He frequently threatened to fire outsiders.”
Eventually, then-HUD Inspector General Susan Gaffney tried to speak up against his bullying ways, and for that she paid a price.
“In 1998 she would testify that Cuomo and his aides tried to smear her as a racist. (A Cuomo staffer at the time claimed her testimony to be ‘riddled with inaccuracies.’) Cuomo’s accusations against her grew only more pronounced as Gaffney produced management audits critical of his department,” according to Shnayerson.
“He called her at home on weekends and lambasted her. ‘Tell me what it would take me to get you out,’ he thundered. Gaffney also testified that Cuomo’s hostility had ‘led to a series of attacks and dirty tricks…. Someone needs to convince the secretary that I am not an adversary. I am trying to do my job.'”
And so the fear felt by New York’s nursing home administrators last spring seems somewhat understandable, though it doesn’t negate the consequences of their facilities going ahead with Cuomo’s orders to accept coronavirus patients.
It’s now known that more than 15,000 seniors reportedly died while housed in the state’s nursing homes. For the longest time, the real death toll wasn’t known because Cuomo’s administration had purposefully been hiding it from the public.
According to reports, his top aides pressured the state’s health officials into distorting the official data to protect their boss.
‘They should all go to jail’: Cuomo aides doctored report on COVID-19 nursing-home deaths https://t.co/MGOrRf4qOU
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) March 5, 2021
Pressuring people is a form of bullying.
The irony is that everything has come full circle, and now the the pressure is being applied on Cuomo, with a vast assortment of high-profile Republicans AND Democrats pressuring him to resign from his post.
The pressure is mostly unrelated to the nursing home scandal, however, and focused primarily on what seems like a forever expanding list of sexual harassment and assault accusations from his alleged victims.
Harassment and assault accusations that, according to a report from The New York Times, Cuomo predictably tried to silence by applying his favorite tactic once again.
“Days after Lindsey Boylan became the first woman to accuse Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of sexual harassment in a series of Twitter posts in December, people tied to the governor started circulating an open letter that they hoped former staff members would sign,” the Times reported Tuesday.
“The letter was a full-on attack on Ms. Boylan’s credibility, suggesting that her accusation was premeditated and politically motivated. It disclosed personnel complaints filed against her and attempted to link her to supporters of former President Donald J. Trump.”
According to the Times, Cuomo himself conveniently helped draft it.
At least two former officials reportedly refused to sign the letter but asked to not be named by the Times because they were too afraid of backlash from Cuomo.
The good news for his victims is that his pressure campaigns and bullying are slowly losing the power to intimidate as more and more speak up against him.
The thing about political bully boys like Cuomo is they seem invincible for their whole career, and then one day they screw up, and everyone who was afraid of them suddenly isn’t afraid of them anymore, and everyone turns on them, and it all falls apart fast.
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) March 14, 2021
It’s unclear though whether all the newfound courage will be enough to unseat him from office, especially since he has a D next to his name.
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