White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged questions Sunday about whether President Biden still believes that Gov. Andrew Cuomo represents the “gold standard” for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic amid his scandal over nursing home deaths in New York.
The president described Cuomo as “sort of the gold standard” last spring when the governor was being lauded for his daily televised briefings on how the state was dealing with COVID-19.
ABC News’ “This Week” host Jon Karl asked Psaki if Biden still held that view.
“We work with Gov. Cuomo just like we work with governors across the country,” said Psaki, not answering the question, but noting that Cuomo is the chair of the National Governors Association.
“He plays an important role in ensuring that we’re coordinating closely in getting assistance out to people in his state and to states across the country and we’ll continue to do that.”
“And there are, of course, will be a process. There are investigations. We’ll leave that to others to determine — the appropriate law enforcement authorities to determine how that path is going to move as we look forward,” Psaki said.
The FBI and the US attorney in Brooklyn are investigating the Cuomo administration amid revelations it withheld the total number of nursing home residents who died from coronavirus because of fears the Trump administration would retaliate politically.
Karl continued to press Psaki on whether Biden still had the same view of Cuomo.
“Well, it doesn’t always have to be a yes or no answer, Jon. I think the president is focused on his goals, his objectives as president of the United States. He’s going to continue to work with Gov. Cuomo, just like he’ll continue to work with governors across the country,” she said, continuing to evade.
“And I’m not here to give new labels or names from the president. I’m here to communicate with you about what our focuses are and what his objectives are as president.”