It took more than a month, but the mainstream media pressed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in nursing homes across the state.
Cuomo had ordered all New York nursing homes to accept patients who tested positive for the coronavirus, despite his knowledge that nursing homes were a hot spot for the virus’s spread.
Cuomo reversed his March 25 policy on May 10, which policy was a blanket rule that required all nursing homes in the state to admit residents even if they tested positive for the coronavirus. It took about forty-four days for Cuomo to reverse the policy, but it also took the media that long before criticizing his policy.
The updated policy requires hospital patients to test negative for the coronavirus before they can be discharged to nursing homes.
Until the policy reversal, the majority of Cuomo-related media coverage was positive and did not include criticism of the governor. But Accuracy in Media criticized Cuomo’s nursing home policy and highlighted the lack of media coverage on the issue.
Axios, Politico, New York Times, ABC News, and NBC News covered Cuomo’s policy reversal, but it had not covered the issue before Cuomo’s announcement. For example, Axios wrote, “Cuomo has faced growing backlash in recent days for failing to address the extreme vulnerabilities presented by nursing homes and long-term facilities, where the coronavirus has killed at least 5,380 residents and workers in New York alone, according to the New York Times.”
NBC News noted Cuomo’s refusal to call it a policy reversal, “Cuomo denied that the change was a policy reversal, saying nursing homes could have contacted state officials at any time if they were not equipped to care for infected residents who wanted to be admitted.”
Accuracy in Media also pointed out that the New York Times shielded Cuomo from criticism four days before Cuomo’s policy reversal. Meanwhile, the newspaper criticized the Trump administration over its pandemic response.