President Donald Trump claims New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) “killed 11,000 people in nursing homes alone” after sharing an article from the far-right website The Gateway Pundit, which has repeatedly come under fire for publishing numerous falsehoods and conspiracy theories and that the White House even awarded, to much controversy, with press credentials.
Trump retweeted a message from Gateway Pundit founder Jim Hoft alleging that Cuomo killed thousands in nursing homes during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic in New York.
“A horrible Governor. Crime is taking over NYC & State, everyone is leaving. He is after the NRA – They should move to Texas or elsewhere, and must get tough,” Trump claimed without citing any evidence. “Cuomo killed 11,000 people in nursing homes alone. Crooked & Incompetent!”
A horrible Governor. Crime is taking over NYC & State, everyone is leaving. He is after the NRA – They should move to Texas or elsewhere, and must get tough. Cuomo killed 11,000 people in nursing homes alone. Crooked & Incompetent! https://t.co/d4hZDAvdWo
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2020
Upon closer inspection, neither Hoft’s nor the president’s claim can withstand scrutiny.
Hoft cites an Associated Press report, but a hyperlink within his own article takes you to a piece written by the conservative National Review.
The actual report (“New York’s True Nursing Home Death Toll Cloaked in Secrecy”), dated August 11 isn’t as hyperbolic.
“New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount,” the AP notes. “Unlike every other state with major outbreaks, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there.”
“That statistic could add thousands to the state’s official care home death toll of just over 6,600,” the outlet notes. “But so far the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to divulge the number, leading to speculation the state is manipulating the figures to make it appear it is doing better than other states and to make a tragic situation less dire.”
The situation, while serious, isn’t helped by elevating The Gateway Pundit, a site with a record of misidentifying mass shooters and terrorists, and that once published a Reddit post as evidence that Democratic activists were committing voter fraud in the 2017 Alabama Senate special election.
The president’s claim that Cuomo is “after the NRA” is also misleading. Earlier this month, New York filed a lawsuit alleging that NRA leadership, including long-time CEO Wayne LaPierre, committed fraud, financial misconduct, and misuse of charitable funds. The suit calls for the dissolution of the NRA as being “fraught with fraud and abuse.” New York isn’t alone, either: the District of Colombia has also filed a lawsuit against the NRA for misusing charitable funds.