A discussion Wednesday between Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and CNN host Chris Cuomo quickly became an argument over New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus response.
Cruz suggested it was time to “have a reasonable policy discussion about the policy mistakes in New York and New Jersey of sending COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes.”
The senator suggested there was “something disgusting that Democrats are doing that Joe Biden does and that you do, which is you try to blame the people that have lost their lives on your political enemies. That’s not right.” (RELATED: Chris Cuomo Has Yet To Ask Andrew Cuomo About New York Nursing Home Deaths. Here Are 9 Questions He Asked Instead)
“But you know what, it’s particularly not right when your brother presided over the state with the highest death rate in the country,” Cruz continued. “Was it a mistake when your brother implemented a policy that nursing homes had to accept COVID-19 patients?”
“My brother was the first one to say there was a learning curve and that mistakes were made and they changed things as soon as they could,” the CNN host responded.
Gov. Cuomo’s order forced state nursing homes to take in 4,500 patients with COVID-19, the Associated Press reported.
Cuomo issued the order to nursing homes and other assisted living centers March 25, according to AP. He reversed that policy May 11. A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation also discovered that New York undercounted the number of deaths in nursing homes.
The governor has also blamed President Donald Trump for the nursing home deaths, suggesting he was following federal government guidelines on where to send nursing home residents infected with the virus.
Chris Cuomo said Wednesday that Trump has contributed to coronavirus deaths through insufficient testing and downplaying the benefits of wearing face masks.
“What do you do when people are getting sick, senator, and you can’t test them and they don’t wear masks and you tell them not to?”
“You don’t send them into nursing homes,” Cruz responded.
Cuomo attacked Cruz for failing to hold the president accountable: “To watch guys like you stand by and stroke your bear like a wise man instead of telling the president to get on it.” (RELATED: Andrew Cuomo Says He’s Through With Coronavirus Predictions)
“How about telling your brother to get on it?” Cruz interjected.
“My brother will stand for his own record. Why don’t you talk to the president the way you talk to my brother, Ted? You afraid of him? Do you think he’ll smack you down at home?” Chris Cuomo responded.
The senator joked that he was “terrified” at the prospect and said the Cuomo brothers “are really tough.” He also told the CNN anchor that it is not surprising that he can’t find “a lot of Republicans who want to come on your show.”
“You are doing it because you don’t want to discuss the substance … Instead you just want to repeat insults over and over and over again,” Cruz said.