In a “historic move” on April 30, Cuomo announced that the New York City subway system would temporarily cease 24-hour operations so that cars could be disinfected. The governor himself made a conspicuous trip to New York City’s unfortunately named Corona Maintenance Facility for a tour and a photo-op. This was an important directive, but one that likely came months too late.
On April 13, a working paper published by an economist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology indicated that, by early March, the subways were a “major disseminator” of coronavirus. According to new research, New York City’s outbreak had become so bad that, by late March, the city was responsible for seeding much of the country with this virus. Even if those connections are speculative, the death toll among MTA workers is hard to ignore. By April 22, 83 transit workers had died as a result of complications from COVID-19 infections. For this tragedy, MTA chief Patrick Foye blamed “the CDC and the World Health Organization” for falling to prepare them for the scale of this disaster.
“All nursing home staff must now be tested for COVID twice a week,” Cuomo tweeted on Monday. “This rule is not optional — it’s mandatory.” The governor assumed this authoritative and overdue position amid a nightmarish death toll in Mid-Atlantic homes for the aged. Over 5,300 residents of nursing homes have died from this virus, but this death toll was no doubt exacerbated by the governor’s March 25 directive that forced senior-care facilities to accept new admissions even if they come from hospitals and could be infected themselves. Even as the governor described his state’s nursing homes as a “feeding frenzy for this virus,” the directive remained in place. Only on Sunday did Cuomo rescind the order.
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No elected official got this pandemic entirely “right.” States like Ohio, which had one of the most aggressive and preventative early responses to this outbreak, are seeing cases increase. Meanwhile, states like Georgia and Florida, which were ruthlessly attacked for relaxing restrictions too soon, have seen their caseloads stabilize or decline. There’s a lot we still don’t know about this virus, and it is incumbent on observers to forgive some of the mistakes that are being made along the way. But even a cursory review of Andrew Cuomo’s record during this event should disqualify him from the excessive adulation he’s received. Whatever it is that’s generating the sycophancy Cuomo has enjoyed, it is not his performance.
And note this:
Cuomo is now describing the coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China as a “European virus.” He said this in today’s presser multiple times. Last month he lavished praise on the Chinese government for their efforts in combatting the virus.
As Karol Markowicz of the New York Post tweets, “Does…he realize the rest of the country will start calling it the New York virus if we’re just going by where it most recently came from?”