Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean says New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's policies have been reckless during the COVID-19 pandemic and his actions resulted in the deaths of her in-laws.
What are the details?
In a blistering op-ed published Wednesday in USA Today, Dean said that Cuomo's motto during the coronavirus pandemic — "New York Tough" — couldn't be further from the truth.
"[W]hen it comes to tough questions about his leadership during this time, Cuomo has shown he isn't so tough after all," Dean wrote. "In fact, he prefers to place blame on anyone but himself for the disastrous decisions he's made."
Dean explained that her husband's parents — Mickey and Dee Newman, who were born and raised in Brooklyn — contracted COVID-19 while living in an elder care facility and died soon thereafter.
"We lost ... dad in late March and ... mom two weeks later," she wrote. "My family wasn't able to see them before they died, weren't given last rites, wakes, or funerals.
"They died alone," Dean said of her in-laws, who were "true New Yorkers."
"Mickey was a retired New York City Fire Department firefighter who served in the U.S. Air Force," Dean said. "Dee helped raise three kids and was a devoted grandmother. ... Not a day goes by where we don't think of them."
After eulogizing her family, Dean said she and her family could not apportion blame to anyone following the deaths.
Then, she wrote, she and her family learned about Cuomo's March 25 order, which mandated recovering coronavirus patients be placed into nursing homes and elder care facilities.
"The mandate also barred nursing homes from requiring incoming patients 'to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission,'" she continued.
The order — which remained in effect for 46 days — saw at least 6,000 COVID-positive patients placed into the facilities in question, Dean said.
"To date, at least 6,500 of our most helpless seniors have been killed by the virus," Dean added. "Even the governor himself said the virus could sweep through nursing homes 'like fire through dry grass.'"
Who's to blame?
Dean stated that Cuomo, to date, still has not taken responsibility for the order that cost so many New York lives.
"Instead," she added, "he's blamed everyone and everything else: God, Mother Nature, the New York Post, the president, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nursing care workers, claiming 'they brought in the infection.'"
Dean, who warned the pandemic should not be about politics, said the state and federal governments need to execute a non-partisan investigation into the loss of so many elderly lives amid the pandemic.
"It's about accountability for what happened to our parents and grandparents, who trusted us to look out for them," she concluded. "My in-laws Mickey and Dee Newman were New York tough. The governor? He's as weak as they come."