Andrew Cuomo: I've told you the truth on COVID from day one

One of the most brazen lies you’ll ever see from a politician.

It’s so brazen that I wonder if it can be explained in terms of simple willful deception.

To lie this shamelessly, I think you need to convince yourself somehow that what you’re saying is true.

The nursing-home cover-up? The underreporting of total COVID deaths in New York State? The secret special priority in testing given to family and cronies early in the pandemic? None of that happened.

He must believe that. He couldn’t have said something this oblivious otherwise, months after the public discovered his mendacity about the extent of the damage from COVID in New York, knowing how jaw-dropping it would be to anyone watching who’s followed the news.

Lockdown critics will also be surprised to hear him say, “I believe in New Yorkers. I believe if they get the truth and they get the facts, they will do the right thing.” If New Yorkers are so reasonable and so well-informed by their governor, why were the mandates and capacity limits of the past 16 months necessary?

Cuomo was interviewed a few weeks ago by the New York Attorney General’s team investigating the claims of sexual misconduct against him. I’m guessing that a few lies were told during the interview too because Team Cuomo has been eager to delegitimize the probe ever since, suddenly demagoging AG Tish James and her staff by claiming that it’s all just a ploy to boost her chances of beating him in a gubernatorial primary:

Nearly five months later, James and the outside attorneys she hired to conduct the work appear close to wrapping up the inquiry after interviewing the governor last weekend. But Cuomo’s top aides no longer seem convinced James will deliver the findings their boss had promised and staked his future on.

In recent days and weeks, the governor’s communications team has sprinkled comments about any investigation-related news with assertions that James — the first Black woman to hold statewide office in New York — is using the probe to launch her own run for governor next year, when Cuomo may seek a fourth term.

“The continued leaks are more evidence of the transparent political motivation of the attorney general’s review,” Rich Azzopardi, Cuomo’s communication director and a senior adviser, said in a statement after news of the governor’s interview emerged in The New York Times.

It’s not just James whom they’re smearing. They’re also pushing a conspiracy theory about former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara supposedly mulling a primary challenge to Cuomo next year. Bharara is good friends with one of the lawyers investigating Cuomo for James, so Cuomo’s political staff are whispering to local papers that if James comes down hard on him it must be some Machiavellian political set-up to benefit Bharara. Or James. Or … both, maybe?

That’d be weird since they’d be competing in the same primary.

Long story short, that interview must have gone really badly for Team Cuomo for them to be anxiously pre-spinning the findings of the investigation this way. Which is surprising, because we know Andrew Cuomo doesn’t lie. Maybe New Yorkers will be rid of him next year after all.