The media has gone out of its way to crown New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo the King of Coronavirus over the last month or two. With constant, salivating comparisons between Cuomo’s press conferences and those of President Trump (none of which come out in Trump’s favor, of course), the media has all but set Cuomo up to take over for Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee for president.
But when you move past the hype and into the real numbers, Cuomo’s case for canonization starts crumbling quickly. Let’s face it, the New York governor has done a terrible job responding to the coronavirus.
First of all, just look at New York. It’s a COVID-19 disaster zone. Of the 65k+ deaths we’ve seen in the U.S. from this disease, nearly a third of them happened in New York. How is that a record for Cuomo to be proud of? Sure, sure, NYC is densely populated, and it’s arguably the most cosmopolitan city in the world, drawing travelers from all over the globe. That it would be hit hard from the coronavirus was a given.
But THAT hard? No, that didn’t need to happen. That happened because Cuomo (and Mayor DeBlasio) was twiddling his fingers in the early days, hoping that the coronavirus would somehow take a sharp turn north like a wayward hurricane. They were slow to close schools, slow to cancel shows, and slow to tell business owners to lock up their shops. While people like Ohio’s Mike DeWine were taking proactive measures to keep the state’s residents safe, Cuomo was playing with fire. His state paid a huge price for that inaction.
Okay, so let’s talk about what Cuomo has done since realizing that he had a major crisis on his hands. Well, from our vantage point, it appears that he’s done two main things: Whine about Trump and the federal government and run around like Chicken Little. Neither of those did anything to make New York a better place. Neither helped the state get through the pandemic any more smoothly.
Cuomo fatally underplayed the virus in the early days of the outbreak and then he turned around and did the opposite while it was killing people in his state.
He was screaming about needing thousands and thousands of ventilators while the president was telling him to calm down. Turns out, Trump was right; by the middle of last month, New York was sheepishly sending its unused ventilators to other states.
Cuomo screamed about needing more hospital beds, so Trump sent him the Navy Ship Comfort. NYC barely used the ship before returning it to Washington.
Over and over again, Cuomo has proven that he doesn’t have the slightest idea what he’s doing. Let’s stop pretending otherwise.