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Janice Dean Slams Cuomo’s New Book On COVID-19: His Leadership In NY Was The ‘American Crisis.’ Her Fight Is Our Fight.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is publishing a book on the COVID-19 pandemic, which ravaged nursing homes in his state and killed more than 32,000 people statewide. It’s uncertain if this is Cuomo’s way of telling his side of the story but the failure by New York state leadership to mitigate the spread of the virus to those most susceptible, specifically the elderly, was astonishing.

In fact, if it wasn’t for Fox News senior Meteorologist Janice Dean, along with other New York families, demanding answers from Cuomo and the decisions he made to essentially rehab those who had been infected with the novel coronavirus in nursing homes the story may have disappeared.

The announcement on Tuesday by Cuomo’s publicist, however, was so out of place. Families are still grieving and people are still dying. His book, titled the American Crisis, is expected to be published October, 13, according to Crown, a division of the Random House Publishing Group.

“A revealing behind-the-scenes account of his experience leading New York state through the COVID-19 epidemic,” the press release states. “American Crisis is an important chronicle of this unprecedented moment in history, an urgent assessment of the factors that have and continue to impede our national response to a devastating health and economic catastrophe…”

Dean, along with thousands of other New York City families, place the blame of the devastating health care catastrophe squarely on Cuomo. His decision to put thousands of recovering COVID-19 patients into nursing homes was the biggest chronicled failure of the deadly outbreaks and has caused endless pain and suffering for families, they said.

For instance, it was Cuomo, who signed an executive order in March forcing nursing homes in New York state to accept patients who tested positive for coronavirus. He even suggested that no one could investigate the situation thoroughly because there was no one reliable enough that both Democrats and Republicans could trust. It’s actually quite stunning that so many thousands of people died and Cuomo isn’t even being held to account by Democrats in his own party.

He said “there is no such thing as a person who is trusted by all Democrats and Republicans. That person does not exist. The Department of Health – those are just numbers. They report our numbers. You can see what you want in the numbers, but the numbers are numbers,” said Cuomo.

What? Decades ago he would be dragged before a commission to answer questions about his apparent gross failure in the matter.

In fact, that is what Dean actually wants. Cuomo and his administration, however, appear to have been pushing back hard against her and other victims’ families. She was originally denied the opportunity to testify before New York State lawmakers on the nursing home deaths. It was a blatant move and proved that her voice was actually making a difference.

She openly blamed Cuomo and his administration for removing her off the witness list. Dean isn’t afraid to fight back and tell the truth. Her tenacity paid off and by Monday, she was finally allowed to testify after being placed back on the witness list. Her testimony was powerful.

She told lawmakers, “we need an independent bipartisan investigation that involves subpoena power so we can get the health commissioner on the hot seat and ask questions and get truthful answers.”

According to Fox News she said New York State Sen. Thomas O’Mara, a Republican, had admitted to her “that they [the Senate Majority] were uncomfortable having [her] as a witness,” originally, so they took her off the witness list. 

Dean fired back in a Tweet Tuesday at the announcement of Cuomo’s new book, saying it was his leadership “that was an American crisis.”

For Dean it is personal. Her in-laws Mickey and Dee Newman both died just months after being put into a New York City elder care facility, when they could no longer take care of themselves. They were two of nearly 11,000 deaths recorded in nursing homes throughout the state. It was the highest recorded number of nursing home deaths in the country.

The New York couple had lived their entire lives in Brooklyn, Dean wrote in a gut wrenching column in USA Today, about how the loss affected her family.

They were true New Yorkers. Mickey was a retired New York City Fire Department firefighter who served in the U.S. Air Force. Dee helped raised three kids and was a devoted grandmother. They lived in a four story walk up in Brooklyn for 50 years, until their health deteriorated and they required constant care.

Cuomo’s failure in protecting the most vulnerable in New York state will be his legacy, if Dean gets a chance to write her own book about the truth of what happened in New York City during the ongoing pandemic.

Cuomo’s book, unfortunately, won’t change the reality of what happened. The truth will eventually reveal what occurred. It won’t bring back those that lost their lives to this dangerous and deadly virus but it will hopefully ensure that the gravity of New York’s deadly decision making under Cuomo’s leadership will never happen again.

At least that’s something we can all fight for. Dean’s fight is our fight.

https://twitter.com/SohrabAhmari/status/1295687306511253506

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China Expands Charm Offensive in Southeast Asia to Squeeze out U.S.

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Similar to what is happening in the Pacific, the US is facing a significant uphill battle to balance China’s rise in Southeast Asia. During the recent G20 and ASEAN summits in Indonesia and Cambodia, the Chinese Community Party (CCP) media upped its propaganda war against the United States over Southeast Asia. Outlets like Global Times and Xinhua claim that China’s interests in Southeast Asia are focused on mutual benefits, while the US is a malicious force in the region. The CCP press also claims that China is generously giving robust and purposeful aid to the Southeast Asian countries, while the US is neglecting them.

Claim #1: China’s Interest in Southeast Asia is Peaceful and Mutually Beneficial

China’s approach to Southeast Asia is benevolent and focused on mutual benefits, according to the CCP-run press. “China’s goal is to achieve a truly prosperous and peaceful ASEAN,” and “doesn’t interfere in ASEAN members’ internal affairs,” according to Global Times. “China focuses on pragmatic issues, such as promoting infrastructure construction, living standards, which are needed in those countries,” and “China is seeking a cooperative path toward common development,” according to another Global Times article. That same article quoted Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as stating that China and the ASEAN countries “are good neighbors who will always be there for each other…”

One country that is particularly thankful for growing Chinese influence, according to the CCP press, is Indonesia. Indonesians want China to “lead…the world to a more peaceful and prosperous future,” and view Chinese President Xi Jinping “with an apparent sense of affability and affection,” according to Global Times. Marzuki Alie, former speaker of the People’s Representative Council of Indonesia, praised China as “becom[ing] essential in improving global governance,” and that “the visionary concept of building a human community with a shared future proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping shows China is willing to work with other countries to create a peaceful and secure world with openness and inclusiveness,” according to Xinhua. And perhaps the most perplexing aspect of China’s “benevolence” in Indonesia is the “Peace Ark” – a hospital ship that has recently docked in Indonesia, but that is also a navy ship run by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), according to Global Times.

Malaysia has a favorable view of China as well, according to the CCP press. Koh King Kee, president of Center for New Inclusive Asia, a Malaysian think tank, stated that “China is the backbone of the global supply chain and acts as a ballast stone of the global economy in times of uncertainty,” according to Xinhua.

And in response to US concerns over rising Chinese influence in Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian dismisses the base as not targeting any third party, according to Global Times. Cambodia’s Minister of National Defense Tea Banh further claimed that the Chinese involvement in that base is benevolent, stating that the base helps Cambodia “in cooperating with friendly countries and help[ing to] maintain regional peace, stability and prosperity,” according to that same article.

Claim #2: The US’ Interest in Southeast Asia is Manipulative, Malevolent

In contrast to China’s benevolence, the United States “only wants [ASEAN] to serve as its pawn to counter China, and to fulfill its own hegemony goal, according to Global Times. At the G20 conference in Bali, the US takes a “hegemonic, unilateral and protectionist approach,” and “is preaching war and confrontation,” according to that same article.

The US and the West are merely using the G20 summit in Bali “to advance their own geopolitical agenda against Russia, therefore preventing the crucial meeting from tackling serious economic issues,” according to another Global Times article. “Such a geopolitical focus “will worsen this uncertain and unstable world,” according to Veronika S. Saraswati, China Study Unit Convener at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies Indonesia.

According to another Global Times article, the US is using ASEAN “to drive a wedge between China and Southeast Asian nations in the future,” is attempting to “rope in the region via political, security, and value-oriented agendas,” and is trying “to buy off” Southeast Asian countries “by pledging to spend certain amount[s] of money.”

Claim #3: China gives Robust, Targeted Aid to Southeast Asia

CCP media taunts the extensive aid that China is giving to Southeast Asian countries. China has pledged $1.5 billion in “development assistance” to ASEAN countries in November 2021, and Chinese-ASEAN trade was about $878 billion in 2021, according to Global Times. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang claims that of the 160 “cooperation initiatives” that China has suggested with the ASEAN countries in the previous 10 years, over 99.5 percent of them have been implemented, as reported by another Global Times article.

Li also stated that China is planning to build emergency storage for medical supplies and rise within the ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) framework, according to Global Times.

Chinese state-run media is particularly touting China’s Belt and Road investments in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia and Laos. According to Global Times, the Jakarta-Bandung high speed railway will be operational in June 2023, and as a “flagship project of China-Indonesia cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative,” will be the first high speed train in Southeast Asia, according to Xinhua. China’s ambassador to Indonesia praised the project, claiming that the railway “will greatly reduce traffic jams, make travel more convenient for local people, improve local investment environment, boost businesses and tourism along the route, and accelerate the building of a high speed railway economic corridor.” The ambassador also mentioned that existing Belt and Road initiatives with Indonesia like the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park and the PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry Park, “have generated tax incomes, job opportunities and foreign exchange earnings, and provided Indonesia with opportunities for greater participation in global industrial chains of stainless steel and new energy.”

Meanwhile, Global Times asserts that the China-Laos Railway has generated at least $1.7 billion in trade and has transported almost 10 million tons of goods.

Claim #4: US Investment Lags Behind China

On the other hand, the CCP media claims that the US is lagging far behind Chinese investments in Southeast Asia. President Biden’s newly announced “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” with the ASEAN countries “…looks more like a symbolic act. The US is playing the catch-up game with China,” according to Koh King Kee, president of a Malaysian think tank, according to Global Times.

US and ASEAN trade, at $441 million in 2021, was almost half that of Chinese investment for that same time, according to Global Times. President Biden pledged to ask Congress for $850 million in aid for electric vehicles and clean energy to ASEAN countries, but this amount is “symbolic” and a “mere ‘drop in the bucket’,” according to Global Times. In May, Biden “announced a $150 million development and security package” for the ASEAN countries according to that same article, which pales in comparison to the amounts in aid that China claims it is giving those same countries.

According to Global Times, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang mentioned that US investment in ASEAN is “a drop in the bucket if compared to US support for Ukraine” during the Biden administration, which Global Times claims is “over $18.9 billion in security assistance.”

Conclusion

CCP media is waging a charm offensive targeting Southeast Asia. While China is investing heavily in these countries, the US has yet to devise a credible counter to such influence.

You can follow Steve Postal on @HebraicMosaic 

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