MATTHEWS: The rise and fall of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

In this Feb. 22, 2021 photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, right, pauses to listen to a reporter's question during a news conference at a COVID-19 vaccination site in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, file)

Back in February, the dam broke for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on his disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic, specifically in terms of the nursing-home deaths his state saw from the virus.

On March 25, 2020, Gov. Cuomo signed a deadly order mandating that nursing homes and assisted living facilities accept COVID-positive patients, which raised serious concerns that it would lead to coronavirus outbreaks among the state’s most vulnerable (it did).

Sometime around the end of April or early May 2020, the state’s health department also changed how they would calculate nursing home deaths. A nursing-home patient who died while at the hospital would no longer be counted as a nursing-home death. Instead, it was counted as a hospital death. This made it appear as though the amount of nursing-home and assisted-living-facility deaths weren’t as high as they actually were.

But in late January of this year, New York state Attorney General Letitia James, who like Cuomo is a Democrat, issued a report detailing how the number of nursing home deaths could be as much as 50% higher than had been previously reported. Instead of the 8,711 number that was on record at the time, the number was much higher, now standing at over 15,000.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI are currently investigating the matter, including other allegations that members of his administration sought to hide the actual numbers from then-President Trump’s Justice Department, which was threatening an investigation last summer.

At roughly the same time the news broke earlier this year of James’ report on the nursing-home numbers, numerous sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo flooded in, some of which are from current staffers. Another report issued from James last week found that Cuomo indeed sexually harassed 11 women, and, in at least one instance, retaliated against the victim.

Though James stopped short of calling for a criminal investigation into Cuomo’s actions, Democrat leaders in the state legislature and even some from New York’s congressional delegation have gotten louder about calling for Cuomo to resign or, if not, face impeachment.

All of this has represented a rather remarkable fall from grace from the governor who, for 10 months or so after the pandemic started, was treated like a rock star by the mainstream press and the entertainment industry, both of which lavished praise on the so-called magnificent “leader” who took charge and could do no wrong.

Looking back on it now, the coverage he received is viewed by his critics as even more obscene than it was at the time, considering the country — and his state — were in the middle of a pandemic. Cuomo was constantly on the receiving end of cutesy questions about his dating life, with hopeful reporters also inquiring as to whether or not he had any presidential aspirations considering how well he was supposedly doing his job.

Most infamously, his brother Chris Cuomo — who is a CNN anchor — was allowed to abuse his position on the network by routinely having his brother on his show for what amounted to “Keeping up with the Cuomos” segments, where jokes were made about the size of Gov. Cuomo’s nose and oversized cotton swabs props were brought on set.

As I’ve said before, if only Cuomo’s adoring apologists in the media and entertainment industry would have listened to his critics, instead of propping him up as a potential dating show contestant or future presidential contender, perhaps Cuomo would have been exposed and called to account in the court of public opinion much sooner and have self-destructed way before now.

While it’s a relief to know that he’s finally been exposed for the failed leader and bullying governor he actually is, it shouldn’t have taken so long for the truth to come out.

(Governor Cuomo announced Tuesday afternoon he would resign in two weeks on August 24, 2021.)

Media analyst Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.