- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 18, 2021

CNN said Wednesday night it has reinstituted a ban that prohibits “Prime Time” host Chris Cuomo from covering his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid a nursing home scandal that has rocked the Democrat’s administration.

CNN came under fire in May after the younger Cuomo had his brother on his show and the two yukked it up about brotherly rivalries as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the country.

CNN said in a statement that it made an exception to a longstanding rule in that moment to let the brothers appear on the air together, but that moment has passed.

“The early months of the pandemic crisis were an extraordinary time,” the network said in a statement, the New York Post reported. “We felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges of what millions of American families were struggling with was of significant human interest.

“As a result, we made an exception to a rule that we have had in place since 2013 which prevents Chris from interviewing and covering his brother, and that rule remains in place today. CNN has covered the news surrounding Governor Cuomo extensively,” the statement added.

The news comes as the governor faces massive bipartisan backlash over his administration’s treatment of COVID-19 positive nursing home patients and the underreporting of nursing home deaths, after the governor’s top aide said they purposely withheld the real death toll out of fears it could be used against them politically.

Mr. Cuomo said Monday he did not hide COVID-19 nursing home deaths but was guilty of creating an informational “void” that was filled by “conspiracy theories” after delaying the state legislature’s request for nursing home data to prioritize an August request from the Justice Department.

More than 9,000 patients recovering from COVID-19 were released into nursing homes under a March 25 directive from Mr. Cuomo, according to The Associated Press. He later reversed the directive on May 10.

Ten days after reversing the order, the governor appeared on “Cuomo Prime Time” to encourage others to get tested for the coronavirus. He and his brother cracked up laughing as the CNN host held up the giant test swab, saying it was the only one that could “fit up that double-barrel shotgun that you have mounted on the front of your pretty face.”

Both Cuomos were accused of making light of the pandemic as thousands of Americans continued to die from the coronavirus.

The younger brother later defended his infamous Q-tip skit as the comic relief the country needed at the time.

“It was funny as hell,” Chris Cuomo said on his show Oct. 26.

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