Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed Friday that his biggest mistake was his failure to do enough to dispel false information.
Cuomo responded to continued questions about the number of coronavirus patients who had died in nursing homes after his March 25 order, saying that he had been too busy “doing our job trying to save lives” to fight against the “falsities.” (RELATED: ‘Taking His Powers Is Not Good Enough’: New York Democrat Says There’s More In Store For Cuomo)
“Those false statements must be countered. Or else people get confused,” Cuomo said, adding, “No one has a right to spread lies or misinformation.”
Cuomo went on to say that his administration had made a mistake in not being aggressive enough to stop the flow of false information, accusing his political opponents of making things up “to get their face on TV.”
“I get it. You have to knock it down and chew through it and counter it aggressively. Otherwise people will believe it,” Cuomo said, suggesting that families who had lost loved ones were willing to believe lies because they were in pain. “And here, the people who were listening to it were people who were in pain and looking for answers. I was not aggressive enough in knocking down the falsity.”
Cuomo then said that he had dismissed the criticism as simply partisan politics, saying that he had chalked everything up to “personal agendas” and adding, “We were busy. We were doing our job trying to save lives. No excuses. I was not aggressive enough in knocking down the falsities … But I should have been more aggressive in calling it out.”
Quoting Thomas Paine, Cuomo continued, “‘It is an affront to truth to treat falsehood with compliance.'”
“I won’t make that mistake again. If you are lying to the people of the state of New York, I’m going to call it out. If you are lying in a report, I’m going to call it out. If you’re lying in a newspaper because you have your own partisan agenda, I’m going to call it out,” he concluded. “I’m not going to let New Yorkers be lied to … I see that as my job. And I’m going to do it aggressively.”