Jen Psaki dodged a question Sunday on whether Joe Biden still considers New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 response the ‘gold standard’ in the midst of his nursing home scandal.
‘Does President Biden still consider Andrew Cuomo the gold standard when it comes to leadership on the pandemic?’ ABC ‘This Week’ host John Karl asked the White House press secretary.
‘Well, Jon, we work with Governor Cuomo, just like we work with governors across the country. He’s also chair of the NGA,’ Psaki dodged. ‘So, he plays an important role in insuring that we’re coordinating closely and getting assistance out to people of his state and to states across the country. And we’ll continue to do that.’
Karl pushed: ‘All right. But, Jen, my question was, does President Biden still believe that Andrew Cuomo is the gold standard – represents the gold standard on leadership during this pandemic? Just a yes or no. Does he still consider him a gold standard?’
‘Well, it doesn’t always have to be a yes or no answer, Jon,’ she shot back.
‘I think the president is focused on his goals, his objectives as president of the United States,’ Psaki continued. ‘He’s going to continue to work with Governor Cuomo, just like he’ll continue to work with governors across the country.’
‘And I’m not here to give new labels or names from the president. I’m here to communicate with you about what our focuses are and what his objectives are as president.’
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dodged questions Sunday over whether President Joe Biden still considers New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus response the ‘gold standard’ in the midst of the nursing home deaths scandal
‘It doesn’t always have to be a yes or no answer,’ Psaki quipped when pushed on the matter. She said the administration would still work with Cuomo to get aid to New York
An investigation this week found that Cuomo may have intentionally misled the public on the number of nursing home deaths related to coronavirus after ordering those hospitalized with the virus to return to their facilities
This week, Cuomo – a Democrat – was revealed to have knowingly and intentionally misled the public on the number of coronavirus-related deaths in New York nursing homes.
Last spring, then-presidential candidate Biden classified Cuomo’s response to the raging as the ‘gold standard’.
‘Your governor of New York has done one hell of a job. I think he’s sort of the gold standard,’ he said at the time.
Revelations of the latest scandal has New Yorkers furious.
‘The governor has abused his powers,’ New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Democrat from Queens, told Fox News on Saturday. ‘He has a pattern of abusive behavior. He has abused me and my family by calling me and threatening my career in front of my kids, in front of my wife.’
‘We must hold him accountable,’ Kim continued, ‘that’s what’s at stake right now.’
Psaki defended Cuomo on Sunday during her interview with ABC News.
‘He plays an important role in insuring that we’re coordinating closely and getting assistance out to people of his state and to states across the country,’ she said. ‘And we’ll continue to do that.’
‘We’re going to continue to work with a range of governors including, of course, Governor Cuomo because we think the people of New York, the people of states across the country, need assistance not just to get through the pandemic but to get through this difficult economic time, and that’s where our focus remains,’ Biden’s press secretary continued.
A recent New York State Attorney General office investigation of Cuomo found his office may have misled the public on the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes after ordering elderly people hospitalized with the virus to be returned to their facilities – potentially leading to a slew of outbreaks.
Those 60 and older are among those most at-risk of dying from contracting the virus.
In the Spring, then-presidential candidate Biden called Cuomo’s response to the pandemic the ‘gold standard’
New York, as well as many other areas of the country, are currently suffering a shortage of vaccinations in the midst of the raging winter storms.
‘We’ve been able to get about 2 million of those 6 million doses out, we expect to rapidly catch up this week, fill that backlog, make sure they’re out to communities, and also meet our deadlines and our timelines of the doses that are due to go out this upcoming week,’ Psaki told Karl.
Biden has promised 100 million people will be vaccinated against coronavirus in his first 100 days in office.
So far, the administration has been on schedule to reach that goal – but this set back could throw that whole plan off course.