Janice Dean may forecast the weather for Fox News, but she has a more potent and tragic claim to expertise on COVID-19 public policy. Her husband’s parents both died in New York nursing homes, two of thousands of deaths that resulted from Andrew Cuomo’s policy of sending COVID-positive patients back to those facilities. To this day, Cuomo refuses to give a full accounting of nursing-home deaths, even while he accumulates book deals and Emmys for his pandemic response.
The shine might be fading off of Cuomo’s star now, however, with the state botching its vaccination rollout so badly that they let thousands of doses expire. When Dean criticized this latest Cuomo administration failure by pointing out the obvious — that Cuomo’s “more interested in being a celebrity than governor” — spokesman Richard Azzopardi told her to shut up and weathercast:
Richard Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Cuomo, told DailyMail.com in response: ‘Every state has had issues with vaccine distribution because of lack of federal funds but we’re rapidly ramping up distribution and currently have administered more than 60 percent of the vaccines we have.
‘Last I checked she’s not a credible source on anything except maybe the weather.’
Last spring, Dean emerged as a critic of Cuomo after the parents of her husband, Sean Newman, died in March after contracting COVID-19.
Actually, this might be nothing more than a simple case of projection. Cuomo has lost a great deal of credibility on handling the pandemic, with grandiose proclamations followed by harsh rebukes from courts and his constituents. Cuomo’s PR campaign since the spring — a book celebrating his “success” in the pandemic as an instruction manual for leadership, his weird “COVID mountain” poster, the Emmy — has turned more people off than on. The second and third waves of the pandemic have undermined his claims of superior leadership, and the nonsensical commands over vaccines have eroded them further.
Now, rather than engage with Dean and other angry family members of those lost in nursing homes, Cuomo’s office disparages her credibility instead. Mediaite’s Colby Hall is aghast at the response:
Dean, known for her remarkably bubbly and consistently apolitical demeanor on Fox & Friends, was among the first to call BS on the Cuomo lovefest. Outraged by the death of both of her husband’s parents due to Covid-19, she was the first to pull back the veil and bravely call Cuomo out for mistakes she saw him make early in the pandemic, namely the sending of Covid-19 patients to nursing homes. That decision alone may have led to thousands of deaths.
Since then, Dean has been on something of a mission to call out Governor Cuomo’s apparent cult of personality. There was an autobiography published about how he successfully handled a pandemic, perhaps prematurely published amidst a still raging pandemic. …
Richard Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Cuomo, told DailyMail.com in response: “Every state has had issues with vaccine distribution because of lack of federal funds but we’re rapidly ramping up distribution and currently have administered more than 60 percent of the vaccines we have.”
But then he added the rather rude, if not sexist, dig. “Last I checked, she’s not a credible source on anything except maybe the weather.”
Is he suggesting that weather girls should just shut up and look pretty? Maybe not, but I know of a handful of women that recoiled at reading that rude rejoinder.
“Rude” seems to be Cuomo’s style to anyone challenging his cult of personality. Dean herself was more succinct:
I can do weather and speak up for my family at the same time. https://t.co/GcidfgPMFX
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) January 15, 2021
Nevertheless, she will persist, to paraphrase a recent feminist slogan that the media seems to have put aside when it comes to Dean’s efforts to get justice for her family. Will the media finally follow suit in demanding accountability from Cuomo? Or will they continue to toss hosannas, Emmys, and book contracts to feed his cult of personality?