Chris Cuomo claimed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was among Republicans holding vaccinated people “hostage” — sparking criticism from conservatives who accused the CNN anchor of being a COVID-19 hypocrite.
The journalist made the comments in a rambling question to a guest on “Cuomo Prime Time” on Friday.
“The question becomes, as a policy perspective, is how long do you allow the majority of this country, Republicans, Democrats, independents, south, north, the majority of every group and demographic we have, have gotten vaccinated, how long do you allow them to be held hostage in states, let’s say, like Florida, where you have the governor saying, ‘Yeah, I know it’s breaking out, I’m going the other way, don’t Fauci my Florida, no mask mandates, I’ll let the parents decide,’” he said.
In mentioning the governor of Florida — where more than 21,000 new cases of COVID were reported Friday alone — Cuomo referred to DeSantis, who has issued some of the least restrictive pandemic measures in the nation.
Fox News contributor Joe Concha said Cuomo disqualified himself from commenting on COVID-19-related matters, given his own behavior and that of his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Chris Cuomo should recuse himself from commenting on any other governor’s actions as it pertains to COVID,” Concha reportedly said. “This is the same guy who got testing before anyone in New York could in the early stage of the pandemic, thanks to his brother. The same guy who broke his own quarantine while he was shedding the virus.”
Concha also accused the primetime CNN host — who reportedly advised his governor brother on how to respond to the sexual harassment and assault allegations levied against him — of being an “activist” and not a journalist.
“Chris Cuomo proceeded to advise him on how to beat those allegations, proving he’s not an anchor, but an activist,” Concha told Fox News. “Take his opinion with a fraction of a grain of salt.”
In a tweet Friday morning, Cuomo shared similar thoughts on the “hostage” situation.
“Not only a gotcha question that shows a lack of understanding by the asker but is proof of bad media practice of adding to division by projecting ignorance as animus,” he posted, linking to an Instagram video of Biden correcting a Fox News reporter’s question. “This is why the vaccinated are held hostage.”
Meteorologist Janice Dean shot back at Cuomo, “You are the very definition of ‘bad media practice.’ 1) interviewing (but never asking) your brother about his nursing home death scandal 2) lying about your ‘quarantine’ 3) Covid VIP tests for your family and friends 4) giving big bro and company sexual harassment advice.”
Others also accused Cuomo of not always exhibiting aboveboard journalism ethics.
“Governor Cuomo’s crisis communications coordinator weighs in,” tweeted Newsmax reporter Logan Ratick.
Nicholas Fondacaro of the Media Research Center responded, “You lied about quarantine, peddled lies about DeSantis hiding data to make your brother look good, and tried to cover-up your brother killing nursing home residents.”
The latest firestorm came in June when social media users blasted the “Cuomo Prime Time” host when he asked in Twitter for examples of him ignoring facts that don’t fit his worldview.