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Jacobin - February 13, 2021

In the chaos of 2020, the national press corps used all of its magical mythmaking and storytelling powers to conjure two towering political heroes for a country in crisis. From the maw of the media machine, New York governor Andrew Cuomo and the Lincoln Project emerged as our alleged sentinels bravely battling a deadly pandemic and an authoritarian president — and supposedly leading us with principles and morality into a new era of accountability and integrity. For millions of credulous liberals already bingeing on West Wing reruns, the twin tales conjured some more of that good old-fashioned hope-and-change nostalgia, and they seemed to serve as a cheeky reminder that not all heroes wear capes. But in the last twenty-four hours, the entire facade has collapsed, revealing that those bravely trying to sound the alarm for months were right all along — and those benefiting from the media-driven fraud were attempting to evade accountability and self-servingly cover up a grotesquerie of mismanagement, corruption, and abuse. Will the wrongdoers face any consequences or accountability? Or will they be treated like the purveyors of previous frauds, like the Iraq War and the financial crisis, and continue to be platformed and valorized by the press corps? And will our media overlords engage in any self-reflection about the monsters they manufactured? The details of the two tales vary, but the narrative arcs are eerily similar. That they crescendoed in the same single news cycle makes their cautionary tales all the more poignant.

Casualties Were Hidden as Cuomo Helped Donors Get a Liability Shield

In Cuomo’s case, the Democratic governor’s aides were caught on tape effectively admitting that they “froze” and did not release the details of thousands of nursing home deaths from COVID-19 because they feared consequences from federal law enforcement officials.

“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, and what we start saying, was going to be used against us,” Cuomo’s top aide told New York legislators on Wednesday. The comments were first reported by the New York Post.

No doubt, Donald Trump’s Justice Department was as highly politicized as Cuomo advisers feared — but that is hardly a legitimate justification for hiding details of thousands of deaths. And the framing of it as some innocent, unplanned, deer-in-the-headlights slipup is absurd, considering the context. ...
Read full report at Jacobin