CNN, MSNBC Let Cuomo Slam Trump on COVID, Skip Over Sex Harassment Claim

On Monday afternoon, as New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo made appearances on both MSNBC and CNN to promote his call for restrictions on air travel to and from the United Kingdom. Neither network did much to push back against his claims, or to press him on any other of his personal scandals. They also did little to correct misinformation or to point out his sudden flip flop in being dismissive of the advice of scientists after previously claiming that he is "a slave to science." The recent accusations of sexual harassment against Governor Cuomo by a former staffer, or his mishandling of the pandemic, were not brought up by either network. MSNBC let him boast about his efforts in New York at the screen announced his state has 37,350 deaths from the coronavirus. That's the highest death toll in the United States, more than 11 percent of all deaths in the pandemic. At 2:24 p.m., as Alicia Menendez was fill in host for Katy Tur's block of MSNBC Live, she began by asking: "Governor, other countries have shut down travel with the UK. You called it reprehensible that the U.S. has not done the same, What do you believe needs to be done?" In part of his response, Governor Cuomo asserted: CUOMO: The UK shut down essentially after the prime minister said that he wouldn't shut down. He found out about this virus -- he said it transmits 70 times as fast as the normal COVID virus -- 120 countries have banned travel from the UK -- EU countries -- or mandated health tests before the people get on the flight and come to their country. Menendez didn't bother to correct his claim that the new strain of COVID-19 discovered in Britain is "70 times" more contagious when it is, in fact, 70 percent more contagious. That's a huge mathematical error. He made the same claim multiple times on CNN, and was only softly corrected by host Wolf Blitzer after the first time. Still on MSNBC, when he was asked if the more infectious strain was already in New York, Cuomo went on to complain about scientists if they disagree with him, using a metaphor to suggest they lack common sense: CUOMO: They say there is no evidence that there is, but I've been dealing with all of the global health experts in the past year. You know, a scientist will tell you what they know as a fact when they know it. They won't say, "There's smoke -- pour water on the smoke." They wait to see the fire -- the smoke isn't enough. Once you see the fire, it's often too late. For me, in the practical matter, when I see smoke, I start to pour the water. A few hours later, as Blitzer interviewed Cuomo on The Situation Room at 6:30 p.m., the New York Democrat again made his incorrect claim that the new strain is "70 times" more contagious. As Blitzer followed up by noting that Dr. Anthony Fauci has advised against "overreacting' to the new strain, the CNN host gently corrected Cuomo by re-stating the actual number: BLITZER: Yeah, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, says that this new variant is 70 percent stronger in terms of transmitting the virus, and that's obviously very disturbing -- 70 percent stronger. As you know, Dr. Anthony Fauci -- he's advising against additional restrictions on UK travel. He says everyone should be careful, but advising against additional formal restrictions. I take it you disagree with Dr. Fauci -- is that right? In his next response, Cuomo again repeated his incorrect claim that the new strain is "70 times" more contagious, and also made similarly dismissive comments about scientists that he made on MSNBC. This, after Cuomo told Fauci that the two of them were like the Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino of the COVID battle. But then he put Fauci in that scientists-don't-protect-us line: From a science point of view, Wolf, you know, scientists can only tell you facts that they know. They don't predict. And I went through this in the spring. The scientists want to see a flame before they tell you there's a fire. From my point of view, if I see smoke, I'm going to douse water on that spot. The scientists will say, "We're not sure if it's 70 times -- 70 times more transmittable -- we're not sure that the vaccine won't solve this COVID virus also." Blitzer gave no additional challenge or question as he suggested to the Democratic governor that "everybody" agrees with him. He also wasn't asked about his suddenly dismissive attitude toward the advice of scientists after he has repeatedly tried to portray himself as a follower of or even a "slave to" science on multiple occasions to put down Republicans who argued it was not feasible to keep the economy closed for a year to prevent every possible infection. Also, neither anchor brought up the eye-opening study Governor Cuomo presented recently which undermines liberals who have pushed to pound on the restaurant industry during the pandemic. The episode of MSNBC Live with sponsored in part by Fidelity. and the episode of CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports was sponsored by Shutte

CNN, MSNBC Let Cuomo Slam Trump on COVID, Skip Over Sex Harassment Claim
On Monday afternoon, as New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo made appearances on both MSNBC and CNN to promote his call for restrictions on air travel to and from the United Kingdom. Neither network did much to push back against his claims, or to press him on any other of his personal scandals. They also did little to correct misinformation or to point out his sudden flip flop in being dismissive of the advice of scientists after previously claiming that he is "a slave to science." The recent accusations of sexual harassment against Governor Cuomo by a former staffer, or his mishandling of the pandemic, were not brought up by either network. MSNBC let him boast about his efforts in New York at the screen announced his state has 37,350 deaths from the coronavirus. That's the highest death toll in the United States, more than 11 percent of all deaths in the pandemic. At 2:24 p.m., as Alicia Menendez was fill in host for Katy Tur's block of MSNBC Live, she began by asking: "Governor, other countries have shut down travel with the UK. You called it reprehensible that the U.S. has not done the same, What do you believe needs to be done?" In part of his response, Governor Cuomo asserted: CUOMO: The UK shut down essentially after the prime minister said that he wouldn't shut down. He found out about this virus -- he said it transmits 70 times as fast as the normal COVID virus -- 120 countries have banned travel from the UK -- EU countries -- or mandated health tests before the people get on the flight and come to their country. Menendez didn't bother to correct his claim that the new strain of COVID-19 discovered in Britain is "70 times" more contagious when it is, in fact, 70 percent more contagious. That's a huge mathematical error. He made the same claim multiple times on CNN, and was only softly corrected by host Wolf Blitzer after the first time. Still on MSNBC, when he was asked if the more infectious strain was already in New York, Cuomo went on to complain about scientists if they disagree with him, using a metaphor to suggest they lack common sense: CUOMO: They say there is no evidence that there is, but I've been dealing with all of the global health experts in the past year. You know, a scientist will tell you what they know as a fact when they know it. They won't say, "There's smoke -- pour water on the smoke." They wait to see the fire -- the smoke isn't enough. Once you see the fire, it's often too late. For me, in the practical matter, when I see smoke, I start to pour the water. A few hours later, as Blitzer interviewed Cuomo on The Situation Room at 6:30 p.m., the New York Democrat again made his incorrect claim that the new strain is "70 times" more contagious. As Blitzer followed up by noting that Dr. Anthony Fauci has advised against "overreacting' to the new strain, the CNN host gently corrected Cuomo by re-stating the actual number: BLITZER: Yeah, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, says that this new variant is 70 percent stronger in terms of transmitting the virus, and that's obviously very disturbing -- 70 percent stronger. As you know, Dr. Anthony Fauci -- he's advising against additional restrictions on UK travel. He says everyone should be careful, but advising against additional formal restrictions. I take it you disagree with Dr. Fauci -- is that right? In his next response, Cuomo again repeated his incorrect claim that the new strain is "70 times" more contagious, and also made similarly dismissive comments about scientists that he made on MSNBC. This, after Cuomo told Fauci that the two of them were like the Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino of the COVID battle. But then he put Fauci in that scientists-don't-protect-us line: From a science point of view, Wolf, you know, scientists can only tell you facts that they know. They don't predict. And I went through this in the spring. The scientists want to see a flame before they tell you there's a fire. From my point of view, if I see smoke, I'm going to douse water on that spot. The scientists will say, "We're not sure if it's 70 times -- 70 times more transmittable -- we're not sure that the vaccine won't solve this COVID virus also." Blitzer gave no additional challenge or question as he suggested to the Democratic governor that "everybody" agrees with him. He also wasn't asked about his suddenly dismissive attitude toward the advice of scientists after he has repeatedly tried to portray himself as a follower of or even a "slave to" science on multiple occasions to put down Republicans who argued it was not feasible to keep the economy closed for a year to prevent every possible infection. Also, neither anchor brought up the eye-opening study Governor Cuomo presented recently which undermines liberals who have pushed to pound on the restaurant industry during the pandemic. The episode of MSNBC Live with sponsored in part by Fidelity. and the episode of CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports was sponsored by Shutterstock. Their contact information is linked. Transcripts follow: MSNBC Live December 22, 2020 2:24 p.m. Eastern ALICIA MENENDEZ: We're following some breaking news this hour. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for new restrictions on travel between the United Kingdom and the United States, following the discovery of that potentially dangerous new mutation of the virus that causes COVID-19. Governor Cuomo joins me right now. Governor, other countries have shut down travel with the UK. You called it reprehensible that the U.S. has not done the same, What do you believe needs to be done? (...) GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): ... The UK shut down essentially after the prime minister said that he wouldn't shut down. He found out about this virus -- he said it transmits 70 times as fast as the normal COVID virus -- 120 countries have banned travel from the UK -- EU countries -- or mandated health tests before the people get on the flight and come to their country. And why the United States, after what we went through, watching 120 other countries, why you would not take action and require people who fly to this country be tested first is beyond me. I mean, how many times do you have to make the same mistake in life? It really is an act of just negligence by government not to say, "Before somebody gets on the plane and flies to the United States, they test negative for the virus or for a variant of the virus." MENENDEZ: Well, Governor, to your point about that negligence, there has been little federal guidance from this outgoing administration. Are you confident that they are able to act now? [CUOMO] Governor, I just want to make sure I understand because, as I came on air, I know that British Airways had agreed to that. Are you saying now that Delta and Virgin have agreed to that as well? [CUOMO] I mean, I'm wondering: Are you concerned that this new variant of the virus could already be in New York? CUOMO: Yes, I am. Yes I am. They say that there's no evidence that there is, but, you know, I've been dealing with all of the global health experts over the past year. You know, a scientist will tell you what they know as a fact when they know it. They won't say, "There's smoke -- pour water on the smoke." They wait to see the fire -- the smoke isn't enough. Once you see the fire, it's often too late. For me, in the practical matter, when I see smoke, I start to pour the water. And when 120 countries ban the UK -- when the UK closes down and cancels Christmas, in essence, by its own prime minister who didn't want to do it and says this virus is deadly, it is a gross negligence for this federal government not to act. MENENDEZ: All right, Governor Andrew Cuomo, thank you. (...) CNN The Situation Room December 21, 2020 6:30 p.m. Eastern WOLF BLITZER: Tonight, the New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, is raising some very serious red flags, taking new action as a new COVID-19 variant is spreading potentially very dangerously in the United Kingdom. We're joined now by Governor Cuomo. He's also the author of the new book, American Crisis, Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Governor, thank you so much for joining us. I know these are difficult times for everyone. I know you've reached an agreement with, what, British Airways and Delta to test all passengers there for coronavirus before they enter New York, JFK, for example, the airport there. Have you made any progress convincing other airlines that fly from the UK to the United States to sign on as well? GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Short answer is, Wolf, first, good to be with you. Short answer is yes. We have an agreement now with the three airlines that fly from the UK to the New York airports -- Virgin, Delta, and British airways. But the point is bigger than just New York, right? We have been worried about a mutation of the virus. That's what everybody has been worried about. The quote, unquote "second wave" was a mutated virus which was creating a second, more diabolical viral infection.  You have the UK saying or announcing the new variant transmits at 70 times the rate of COVID. You have countries in the EU that have banned travel from the UK. You have 120 countries that have required that no one comes from the UK unless they test negative prior to getting on the plane from the UK. And the United States has done nothing. Now, I acted proactively, frankly, for New York, and I have the airlines that are flying into New York from the UK that have all agreed that they will test people before they get on the flight in the UK en route to New York.  But we've learned this lesson before, and that's what's frustrating, Wolf. You know, when the way we got COVID in the spring was the federal government thought that the coronavirus was still in China. It had gone to Europe, and it came here from Europe. And this is almost redux. And yes, the people who now fly into New York will be negative. But we'll have flights into Chicago, we'll have flights into other parts of the country, and those people can get onto flights and come back to New York or infect other states. And this whole notion that any one state can protect itself was foolish from the beginning, right?  BLITZER: Yeah. CUOMO: New York has one of the lowest infection rates in the United States. But that doesn't stop the virus from coming in from other states. BLITZER: Yeah, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, says that this new variant is 70 percent stronger in terms of transmitting the virus, and that's obviously very disturbing -- 70 percent stronger. As you know, Dr. Anthony Fauci -- he's advising against additional restrictions on UK travel. He says everyone should be careful, but advising against additional formal restrictions. I take it you disagree with Dr. Fauci -- is that right? CUOMO: Look, I have great respect for Dr. Fauci, and he's a friend, and he's been very helpful to me personally in New York all through this. From a science point of view, Wolf, you know, scientists can only tell you facts that they know. They don't predict. And I went through this in the spring. The scientists want to see a flame before they tell you there's a fire. From my point of view, if I see smoke, I'm going to douse water on that spot. The scientists will say, "We're not sure if it's 70 times -- 70 times more transmittible -- we're not sure that the vaccine won't solve this COVID virus also." Their working assumption is it will, but, you know, these are all hypotheticals.  You have 120 countries that have banned the travel from the UK. You have Boris Johnson who closed down the UK one week after he said he would never close down the UK for Christmas. He did a total 180, Wolf, in one week, and he closed for Christmas. Why would Boris Johnson do that unless he was really worried? Why would the EU countries ban the UK? And why run the risk? If 120 countries are requiring a test before somebody gets on a plane, I called up the airlines, and I said, "Look, you have 120 countries. Can you make it 120 countries and the state of New York?" You know. And they said yes. But if they'll do that for New York, they'll do it for the United States of America. BLITZER: Yeah, I think everybody agrees. In a situation like this, more than 300,000 -- I'm looking right now -- more than 319,000 Americans have died from the virus since February. You've got to err on the side of caution. Governor, while I have you, the second coronavirus vaccine, Moderna, is now rolling out today. They've got millions of doses ready to go. What's the latest on vaccine distribution in New York state? [CUOMO] Do you have enough doses to cover the essential frontline health care workers who are every day putting their lives on the line? [CUOMO] So, so critical. These are life-saving moments in our nation's history. Governor Cuomo, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks for everything you're doing. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.