Gov. Andrew Cuomo came under attack Friday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — where a Republican member of Congress mocked him over sexual harassment allegations and ripped his handling of nursing homes amid the coronavirus crisis.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) said that “the fake news media and their allies in Silicon Valley made Gov. Cuomo out to be some iconic cross between King David and Tom Brady.”
“What a lie that turned out to be,” he added.
Gaetz then brought up the sexual harassment scandal sparked earlier this week by ex-Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan, saying, “According to former aides, Gov. Cuomo was offering to replace staff meetings with strip poker.”
“Meanwhile, they were stripping granny out of the COVID ward at the hospital and tossing her in the nursing home [for] just enough time to infect everybody and then go back to the hospital so the deaths could be recategorized for politics,” he said.
Those comments referenced a since-rescinded, March 25 directive for nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients transferred from hospitals and a report by state Attorney General Letitia James that found the state Health Department “vastly undercounted” nursing home deaths by not including residents who died in hospitals.
During his speech at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, Gaetz also told the crowd, “I’m a Florida man and it is good to be home” before launching a series of broadsides on the Empire State.
“Florida is like an amazing woman: adventurous, beautiful, mostly sunny, sometimes a little crazy and always here to encourage and support success,” he said.
“By contrast, New York is like a bad ex-husband: mean, won’t let you go out to dinner, you’re less safe, financially spiraling downward and they may kill your grandparents.”
The three-day CPAC event was moved from Washington, DC, to the Sunshine State due to coronavirus restrictions and began Friday morning with a speech by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said, “Welcome to our oasis of freedom.”
Former President Donald Trump is slated to give the closing speech on Sunday, when he’s expected to criticize the leadership of President Biden and offer a plan for Republicans to win control of Congress in next year’s elections.
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said of Gaetz, “The head of the Treason Caucus has no shame and less credibility.”
Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan