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Letters to the Editor — March 3, 2021

Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim — who has been candid about being bullied and threatened by Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the nursing home scandal — says he felt “gaslit” and stopped watching TV for six months after seeing CNN anchor Chris Cuomo playfully interviewing his brother, as the COVID-19 death toll mounted among nursing home residents.

“I was on the ground, yelling with my constituents who couldn’t see their loved ones, who knew that COVID was transmitting, and they were literally seeing their loved ones die of agony and pain alone with no funeral,” Kim, whose uncle died of coronavirus while a resident of one of the facilities, said on the “Fox Across America” radio show, Fox News reported.

“I turned the TV on and I see his brother [Chris Cuomo] and Andrew cracking jokes. I stopped watching TV for six months,” Kim told host Jimmy Failla.

“I couldn’t take it because I felt gaslit at times, and I was like, ‘Am I living in another reality? What is going on?’” Like, how come people are not telling the truth?” he said.

“I literally felt so demoralized and my constituents, I had a re-election, they kept telling me, ‘Don’t attack the governor. He is polling in 80 percent, 90 percent. You’re going to lose your re-election if you attack the governor,’” Kim continued.

“I didn’t care because people were dying. People needed justice, people needed truth. And it wasn’t just me,” Kim said. “There were plenty of other courageous, brave public servants who were speaking at the same time. But how do you compete when you have a brother on CNN giving you cover every single night on national TV?”

Kim is one of several Democrats who have assailed Cuomo’s order requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients released from hospitals. The directive was enacted March 25, 2020, and rescinded that May.

His comments come a day after Chris Cuomo told his CNN viewers that he would not cover his brother’s growing list of scandals, including allegations of sexual harassment, because they are siblings.

Kim has called for the governor’s impeachment over the nursing home scandal that saw state officials intentionally obscure the extent of the coronavirus’ death toll on the facilities.

He has alleged that the governor called him while at home, threatening to “destroy” his political career unless he helped mitigate damage from the ballooning scandal.

He is also one of nine Assembly members who accused Cuomo of engaging in “obstruction of justice” over withholding the true tally of nursing home residents killed by COVID-19.  

This comes as Cuomo is also embroiled in a mounting sexual harassment scandal involving two former aides and another woman and the Albany legislature is about to strip him of his emergency COVID-19 powers..

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