Politics

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has the blood of New Yorkers on his hands

He acted too late and only out of political considerations.

Image Credit: Fox News/YouTube

The Wall Street Journal recently published a detailed story that lays the blame for the coronavirus death toll in New York City squarely on New York liberal Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo. Their indictment is damning.

WSJ: “New York City was locking down. Gov. Andrew Cuomo wanted to say when and how it would happen…After Mayor Bill de Blasio told residents in a March 17 news conference to prepare to “shelter in place,” Mr. Cuomo dismissed the mayor’s plan in a television interview while his aides blitzed City Hall with calls…’The phones were ringing off the hook,’ recalled Freddi Goldstein, the mayor’s press secretary at the time. ‘They said, ‘[The mayor] sounds crazy. He’s scaring people. You have to walk it back. It’s not up to you. It’s not your call.’ ”

While our publication is not a fan of New York Marxist Mayor Bill DeBlasio, it seems his hunch was right here. But Cuomo, not wanting to look politically out of control, stayed DeBlasio’s hand on the shelter in place order. Because of that Cuomo move thousands of New Yorkers needlessly died.

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Coumo admitted, “For any city or county to take an emergency action, the state has to approve it. And I wouldn’t approve ‘shelter in place.’ ” Then came the nursing home debacle resulting in many more unnecessary deaths. This tweet summarizes nicely.

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The Trump administration left the coronavirus response mostly the to states, as they had the best and most up to date data. While some governors delegated power to local officials, others monopolized it. Cuomo, more than any state leader, insisted that almost every decision come from his office, as he admits above.

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That including when to close buildings, the size of weddings, funerals, business closures, the type of air filters required at shopping malls, and many other arcane details. But strangely, nothing about riots or memorial services regarding thugs turned into left wing martyrs. Cuomo and his team took control of the state Health Department and overrode local governments. This is what they wrought.

WSJ: “Even so, Columbia University researchers estimated that 17,514 deaths in the metropolitan area could have been avoided if officials had instituted seven days earlier each of the social-distancing measures they eventually enacted. ‘If everybody had done exactly what they did one week earlier, more than 50% fewer people would have died by the end of April,’ said Jeffrey Shaman, a co-author of a study on the subject.”

As the situation worsened Cuomo still would not act, his eyes always on political, not public health consequences. Thus on February 9th he said, “So in these emergency situations, showing up, talking to people. Someone’s in charge. No reason to panic. You’re on top of it. Take a deep breath,” he told reporters. “We have the resources. We’ve done it before. We’ve seen this before. We’re OK.” Cuomo called the virus a “bad flu,” and told New York residents to calm down. “What we’re really trying to do here is avoid the massive disruption of closing everything down for two weeks, the way China did, the way Italy is doing,” he said to Fox News.

On March 2nd Cuomo said, “We think we have the best health-care system on the planet right here in New York. So, when you’re saying, what happened in other countries versus what happened here, we don’t even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries.” The evidence was growing. The White House had swung into action. Other states were already moving on the crisis. But like a Hamlet on the Hudson, Cuomo could not make up his mind to act. Because of that indecision, because of his emphasis on politics over people, thousands of New Yorkers died. No denials from Albany will make that go away.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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