As COVID-19 was spreading at breakneck speed throughout New York, Gov.
Cuomo took bold and brave action to stem the crisis.
The vaping crisis.
On March 3, Cuomo held an anti-vaping rally in Albany, complete with a
hashtag, #NoVapeNY. Too bad he didn’t think of a hashtag to fight off
COVID-19. Instead, Cuomo spent most of March delivering one simple
message to the people of New York: Stop worrying so much.
Cuomo would routinely communicate the epidemiological equivalent of
“chillax,” spouting various versions of the same line: “The fear, the
panic is a bigger problem than the virus.” He told New Yorkers starving
for reliable information that the “reality is reassuring,” that “the
facts don’t merit the level of anxiety we are seeing.” He flippantly
declared, “We have more people in this country dying from the flu” and
“this is not the Ebola virus.”
It’s true that COVID-19 isn’t the Ebola virus. In fact, COVID-19 would
go on to kill more people in New York in just the first two weeks of
April than Ebola has worldwide in all human history.
But, it wasn’t just his downplaying of the virus that caused damage. It
was his wild and inconsistent decision-making.
As Cuomo has embarked on his eight-month campaign of self-
aggrandizement, he has continually criticized the slow reaction of
President Trump. But on March 16, as Trump advocated for a national
shutdown, Cuomo resisted. Instead, he limited the allowable size of
gatherings to 50: five times Trump’s national guidelines. While making
this announcement, he said that the federal government has “been behind
from Day 1 on this crisis.”
Cuomo continued to claim there would be no shutdown on March 17 and 18.
Even on March 19, he bragged of calming a panicked friend, telling this
likely mythical individual that a shutdown “is not going to happen.” It happened the next day.
All of this pales in comparison to Cuomo’s ghoulish health directive of
March 25. The order forced nursing homes to import known COVID-positive patients, while prohibiting the facilities from testing new or
returning residents for the virus. Peter Ajemian, Cuomo’s
communications director, would eventually try to justify the policy,
telling Fox News the governor was trying to stop “nursing homes from discriminating against COVID patients.”
Keeping the uninfected away from the infected amid a pandemic isn’t discrimination. It’s common sense. Unless you’re Cuomo.
The Society for Post-Acute & Long-Term Care Medicine publicly begged
the governor to reconsider. They said nursing homes had “inadequate
supplies” along with limited “capability to provide high-quality
infection control.” It noted, “Many homes do not have private rooms.”
They warned that it could create “dire, and indeed fatal,
consequences.” Cuomo did it anyway.
Thousands would die in these nursing homes, though we still don’t know
the scale of the tragedy, because Cuomo refuses to tell New Yorkers the
truth. As the AP notes: “Unlike every other state with major outbreaks,
New York only counts residents who died on nursing-home property and
not those who were transported to hospitals and died there.”
The same day Cuomo issued the directive, he would wax poetic in front
of a swooning media: “These are our grandparents. And we’re going to do everything we can to protect every one of them. And I give the people
of the state of New York my word that we’re doing it.”
It’s hard to overestimate the abject cruelty of this statement,
callously uttered on the day he destroyed so many lives.
A sober examination of Cuomo’s record reveals that he oversaw the
single worst coronavirus response in the world. New York’s death count
is higher than the bottom 29 US states combined. The fatality rate in
New York is 67 percent above that of Peru, the highest of any nation on
And yet Cuomo has the gall to continue to promote his memoir “American
Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Besides
personal enrichment, he clearly hopes to distract from his catastrophic performance, pass the blame to others and audaciously rewrite history
in front of our eyes.
We can’t allow it to happen.
“New York won.” That’s how Cuomo summarized the battle against COVID-
19. If this is the thrill of victory, I’d hate to see the agony of