Janice Dean, the Fox News Channel senior meteorologist, said Thursday she finds it “very tough” to forgive disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose role in sending COVID-19 patients back to nursing homes she claims cost the lives of her in-laws during the pandemic in 2020.
“I wish at the very beginning he had apologized, or he had taken some accountability for the decisions he made in New York,” Ms. Dean told The Washington Times in a telephone interview. “Had he done that in the very beginning, instead of celebrating himself, instead of lying to New Yorkers, instead of not protecting our most vulnerable, if he had apologized, [and] if he had reached out to some of the grieving families, I would have forgiven him.”
Right now, she added, “it’s very tough for me to forgive him. But I am a very forgiving person. And I do feel at some point, I will have to forgive him.”
Ms. Dean explained, “It’s a two-way street. There has to be an apology first for me to start the process of forgiveness. If the governor had apologized or expressed remorse, then I would of course open my heart to forgiveness. But there hasn’t been any of that and therefore I don’t think I am ready to consider that.”
Ms. Dean, 51, rises early to offer weather forecasts and cheerful banter on the Fox morning program, which often features phone calls from former President Trump. A 17-year veteran of the cable channel, she said faith saw her through a year of loss and lockdowns.
“Even though I’ve had faith in my life, I feel like this past year and a half I really need to need to lean into that more than ever,” she said.
Michael and Dolores Newman, known to their family as Mickey and Dee, were the parents of Ms. Dean’s husband, Sean, a New York City Fire Department battalion chief. The Newmans, married for 59 years, died from COVID-19 within weeks of each other in the spring of 2020, while each was housed in a care facility in New York.
Ms. Dean contends that Mr. Cuomo’s March 25, 2020, executive order, allowing hospitals to transfer COVID-19 patients into long-term care facilities, is responsible for the infections that killed the Newmans.
Ms. Dean used her platforms to call attention to the nursing home situation, writing opinion pieces, posting to her massive Twitter and Facebook followings, and giving interviews. Mr. Cuomo resigned as the state’s chief executive on August 24 in the face of a report detailing of multiple instances of sexual harassment.
“I saw something that was happening here in New York that no one was talking about,” Ms. Dean recalled. “I feel blessed enough to be able to have a forum where I can talk about that and be a voice for thousands of people [who] have don’t have one anymore,” she added.
Ms. Dean said she was grateful for the support of the Roman Catholic parish her family attends on Long Island, which she didn’t want to name out of privacy concerns. She also appreciated the “piles of letters and prayer cards” from viewers that greeted her when she returned to the network’s mid-Manhattan offices.
For her young sons, she said, losing their grandparents is “terrible.” But there, too, the family’s faith plays a role.
“They go to Catholic school, and they’re learning about God every day,” Ms. Dean said. “While it was very difficult to tell them what was happening, you know, they have great faith already built into their lives.”
Ms. Dean, who was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 2005, credits her faith with being able to handle what she termed “a very big bump in the road.” She also praises her Fox News colleague Neil Cavuto, who also lives with MS, as “an angel here on Earth.”
Is being a person of faith in the rough-and-tumble world of journalism a challenge? Not at her network, she said, where colleagues such as Ainsley Earhardt and Shannon Bream are noted for their faith lives.
“This has been the best job that I’ve ever had,” Ms. Dean said. “The people I work with are the reason for that. And I think that it is because many of us have some of the same core values.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported Janice Dean‘s position at Fox News Channel.
For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.