Columnist: Media made Cuomo a ‘hero,’ but DeSantis did a better job with nursing homes amid COVID-19

As usual, the media has two different standards for Democrat and Republican governors when examining their methods of handling the coronavirus outbreak.

Case in point: while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has been villainized for his COVID-19 response, National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote in a Wednesday op-ed that DeSantis’ “approach to nursing homes was obviously superior to that of” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who has been “elevated as a hero” for his efforts to curb the spread of the deadly disease, though he should feel utterly humiliated.

A tale of two states

Indeed, Cuomo should be embarassed by his policy on nursing homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though it has long been widely known that the elderly population is most at-risk from the virus, Gov. Cuomo decided early on that it would be OK for hospitals to send patients who tested positive for COVID-19 back to nursing homes, as the Wall Street Journal reported.

It was only recently that he changed that order, as Lowry notes; patients now must test negative before being able to return home to assisted living facilities.

On the flip side of that, we have Gov. DeSantis, who worked hard from the start to get COVID-19 patients out of nursing homes and keep them out until they tested negative in hopes of stopping the spread.

“The day that the media had their first big freakout about Florida was March 15,” the Republican governor remarked, according to Lowry. “That same day is when we signed the executive order to, one, ban visitation in the nursing homes, and two, ban the reintroduction of a COVID-positive patient back into a nursing home.”

As of Thursday, New York has had more than 360,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to a Worldometer tracker, and nearly 30,000 deaths. Florida, on the other hand, has seen just under 50,000 cases and around 2,100 deaths, according to Worldometer.

“The next target”

As Lowry noted Wednesday, DeSantis was willing to allow parts of Florida that weren’t hit as hard by the virus to reopen swiftly, though with restrictions, despite heavy criticism from the media. And it seems he made the right call.

For instance, when the beaches in Jacksonville were opened, DeSantis was raked over the coals, even though the area has seen only about 1,300 cases and 36 deaths from the disease, according to WJXT in Jacksonville.

“Jacksonville has almost no COVID activity outside of a nursing home context,” DeSantis said, according to Lowry. “Their hospitalizations are down, ICU down since the beaches opened a month ago. And yet, nobody talks about it. It’s just like, ‘Okay, we just move on to the next target.’”

Meanwhile, the media has not even attempted to call out Gov. Cuomo for how badly he mismanaged resources amid the crisis; in fact, many have celebrated him and called him the voice of calmness the nation needed, as Business Insider notes.

Talk about double standards.

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