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Gov. Cuomo defends handling of COVID-19, blames politics for nursing home deaths

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On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) defended his handling of the nursing homes, instead blaming politics for the scandal heating up after The New York Post’s exposé that his top aide said that officials withheld data about nursing home COVID-19 deaths amid a federal probe, according to The Post.

“This past year, there is a toxic political environment and everything is political,” Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing, in which he ignored the admissions made by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, per The Post.

“New York was ground zero for Covid, and nursing homes were and still are ground zero for Covid,” Cuomo also said.

RELATED: Poll: 40% of New Yorkers support recalling Gov. Cuomo

“This past year there is a toxic political environment and everything gets politicized,” he added, saying that “[t]here is political spin and there are facts.”

The governor also rebuffed a bipartisan move to strip him of his COVID-19 emergency powers in the wake of DeRosa’s remarks, according to The Post.

RELATED: Lawmakers call for Gov. Cuomo’s removal following aide’s reported nursing home data confession

“Emergency powers have nothing to do with nursing homes,” Cuomo argued, saying that state lawmakers “can reverse any action I take.”

“They have never reversed a single action,” Cuomo said. “These are public health decisions, not local political decisions.”

In a Wednesday night conference call to Democratic lawmakers, DeRosa said: “Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.”

During the conference call, she also admitted that “basically, we froze” over months of being pressed by not only U.S. Department of Justice and the state legislature but also reporters and activists about the real death toll from nursing home deaths because of the coronavirus, which Cuomo ignored at the Monday press briefing, according to The Post.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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