New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a bill signing ceremony in New York, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. Cuomo was joined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as he signed a “red flag” bill, which attempts to prevent people who present a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or owning a gun. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A lot of media folks have been lauding New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo for his response to the Wuhan coronavirus.
Part of that is the media’s desire to laud a Democrat as a counterpoint to attack President Donald Trump.
I’m not so sure I agree with the argument that Cuomo’s response was the best, however, given that they have suffered the most from the impact in part, perhaps, because of governmental choices they’ve made. But certainly, in comparison to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Cuomo certainly comes off much better.
But with his remarks today, Cuomo just managed to shoot a lot of that good will in the foot, joining the absolutely tone-deaf crowd of folks like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Joe Biden talking about their favorite ice cream. Pelosi of course flaunted her expensive refrigerators and designer ice cream while blocking millions of Americans from getting relief from the Paycheck Protection Program. Joe Biden seconded that cluelessness with his own ice cream comment.
But this just might be Cuomo’s “Nancy Antoinette” moment, just without the ice cream.
Cuomo was asked by a reporter how would he respond to New Yorkers who say they are out of money and need to work in order to feed their families? “The cure can’t be worse than the illness,” the reporter said. “What is your response to that?”
His response was callous in the extreme.
First he set up a false dichotomy, suggesting the choice was stay home or work and die/cause others to die when there are a lot of ways to ensure that people can work and be safe about it, rather than starving them and their families, if the government will adapt and treat people as adults. Plus he kept saying the “illness is death.” Well, yes, it can be and therefore it should be taken seriously, but the large majority are mild if any symptoms at all so stop with the “illness is death” because that’s dishonest.
He then went over the slide when he said that “You want to go to work? Go take a job as an essential worker” he added, snottily, “Do it tomorrow.”
He said now you can go to work as an essential worker and “you’re not going to kill anyone.”
So the government, under his edict, has thrown countless people out of work, not through any fault of their own. They want to work and he basically spits in their eye and says they should be happy with the money that most still haven’t gotten after weeks out of work.
Scolding New Yorkers that you put out of work and mocking their desire to feed their families? Not a good look. He’s clearly never had to live paycheck to paycheck, to treat people this dismissively.
Forgive me, also if I don’t believe that you truly feel their pain, as you suggested you “felt it” too. You’re not going to be out of a job (at least not right away) because of the pandemic. You have plenty to eat and a nice place to live. You can go on TV and play “is he really in quarantine” games with your brother.
While we’re at it, when the governor is talking about choices, maybe he should talk with his own family, his brother about breaking quarantine before lecturing others who may not have the luxury of being able to have weeks in their basement.
Really, Democrats, this is the guy you’ve been praising?