Andrew Cuomo is having the time of his life. His approval ratings are through the roof and he’s being talked about as a replacement for Joe Biden should Joe wander off somewhere without his Visiting Angel, never to be found again. Hipster merchandise featuring his face is exploding on Etsy and he’s getting a nightly hour with his own brother on CNN to chat about oh, this and that, and whatever is happening in his day at the given moment. It’s quite the arrangement! Andrew doesn’t ask his brother why he broke quarantine, literally endangering lives and the younger Fredo doesn’t ask him about 1,700 previously uncounted COVID related deaths in New York nursing homes, or why he didn’t authorize disinfecting subway cars until early May, a full 90 days after the first cases were reported on March 1.
Governors in Florida, Texas and Georgia bear the brunt of media criticism for their handling of testing, shutdowns and hospitalizations. In each instance, no outbreak or death count in those states has come close to matching New York. National media went to plaid over Jacksonville’s reopened beaches, while glossing over the hordes of impatient hipsters grouping together throughout New York parks, the entire time lavishing praise on the governor of the moment.
There is something deeply unsettling about the way Cuomo’s handling of the epidemic has been lionized by the national media, and treated as a reality show by his brother’s network; especially when it’s viewed in tandem with attempts to delegitimize governors in other states who have competently faced down similar challenges. California’s Gavin Newsom deserves credit for pouncing early, while also crediting the work of the Trump administration. Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington was the first statewide elected executive outside of Donald Trump forced into dealing with the pandemic head on. What looked to be a spiraling disaster was quickly contained. Yet in both cases, the national New York-based media ignored them, choosing to zone in on the dangers of yokel hick states and their GOP governors, catering to a catastrophe that never actually came. Remember spring breakers all amassing on beaches and on patios?
Meanwhile, researchers believe that New York City was the epicenter for the spread throughout most of the country and that the New York subway system — far from a beacon of cleanliness at the best of times — was the largest incubator of the virus, according to the New York Times . As the virus took hold throughout the city, elected officials denounced concerns about its origins as racist and xenophobic, and encouraging their constituents to go about life as usual and attend festivals and movie theaters. As it turns out, the mayor snuffing out a groundhog was just a practice run.
Last week, the bombshell dropped that someone in New York authorized the use of nursing homes for recovering patients of COVID-19, a decision that led to approximately 1,700 casualties. That’s more COVID deaths than the entire state of Florida…but if you watch the news, you’ll only hear about supposed massive failure on the part of Gov. Ron DeSantis. We still don’t know who made that decision in New York, or what Cuomo knows about it…because the toughest questions he’s faced have been from his infected brother. (By the way, how are the plasma donations going, Chris?) The fact subway cars had not been sterilized nightly until May 4 has gone all but unscrutinized as well.
Yet through it all, Daddy Cuomo has enjoyed an 80 percent approval rating from his uber-liberal voting base and adoring media, who believe in pinning every death in New York on the decision-making coming out of the White House. Maybe Cuomo should replace Biden on the Democratic ticket, and beat Donald Trump. Perhaps once he’s in the White House, the press would take more of an interest in the several missteps that have, as of yet, gone under-examined on his watch.