Fox News’ Janice Dean said Monday she wasn’t “surprised” to learn from reports that former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s team sought to discredit her as a “weather bitch” — but that the revelation won’t stop her from speaking out about the politician’s handling of nursing homes during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The senior meteorologist responded on-air to a New York Post story that said former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo mentioned her during text messages with his brother’s team. It was the journalist, per the Post, who called Dean “that Fox weather bitch.” He was fired from CNN earlier this month after new information came to light about his involvement with his brother’s team on a response to mounting sexual harassment accusations against the then-governor earlier this year.
On “Fox & Friends,” she said she “wasn’t surprised at all,” then added, “Early on, I heard from a good source who knows the family well to watch my back. This was before any of the real press coverage, the hundreds of op-eds I wrote, all of the appearances that I did on Fox News. … He told me, ‘Watch your back.’”
She noted, too, that members of the politician’s staff did go after her and her family on Twitter when she first began sounding the alarm on COVID-19 nursing home deaths in the state, which came before the sexual harassment accusations against Cuomo.
In the spring of 2020, personal tragedy struck Dean’s family when both of her in-laws, Mickey and Dee Newman, died of COVID-19 in a New York long-term care facility. She attributed their deaths to Cuomo’s March 2020 edict that recovering COVID-19 patients be placed in nursing homes. Dean began speaking out against Cuomo during appearances on Fox News and in op-eds. At the time, coverage of him tended to be glowing. The result was significant blowback at a time when the governor was promoting his book about his pandemic leadership and snagging an international Emmy award for his televised coronavirus briefings. Not only was she engaged in a PR battle with Cuomo’s office, but Dean even fought with celebrities like Ben Stiller, who eventually apologized to her after initially defending the governor in a Twitter battle.
She tweeted Sunday, “The story for me has always been about trying to find answers and accountability as to what happened in New York nursing homes in the spring of 2020 and why Cuomo and his administration tried to cover it up. It’s a shame that many tried to dig up information to try and demean me through my profession (“weather girl”) where I work (Fox News) and who I voted for. Sadly, it wasn’t just the Cuomo team, but blue checks and reporters scouring through tweets and articles I’ve written in the past to support their own beliefs and a political narrative. This won’t stop my mission on behalf of thousands of families, but it has opened my eyes to how the powerful will do anything to protect themselves, those around them, and to what lengths they will go to silence the people who question their motivations and deadly decisions.”