As part of his “victory” tour, New York’s “Luv Guv” Andrew Cuomo left the confines of his state earlier this week to travel to Georgia to discuss with local (Democratic) leaders how heroic he thinks he was in combating the Wuhan virus outbreak in his state, along with ways elected officials and public health officials alike can help their communities slow the spread.
In advance of his Georgia trip, national news outlets like MSNBC and CNN made sure to highlight it – using it as an excuse to once again “report” on what a magnificent leader he allegedly was throughout the time the virus spread like wildfire throughout New York.
Oddly enough, however, we didn’t see much of anything in the way of video reports from Cuomo’s trip in the aftermath, which was strange when you consider how eager the media has been to compare and contrast Cuomo’s leadership during the crisis to that of southern red-state Republican governors like Ron DeSantis (FL) and Brian Kemp (GA). The media has painted both Kemp and DeSantis as failures from the word “go” in spite of the fact that the sharp rise in case numbers in their respective states only started a few weeks ago rather than at the beginning of the crisis like it did in New York.
I did some searches on social media and YouTube Tuesday night and found local media video clips and screengrabs taken from Cuomo’s Monday Wuhan virus roundtable with Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, who is also a Democrat and a native New Yorker. What I saw made me understand exactly why we didn’t hear much about it.
The roundtable was pretty standard fare for Cuomo, who boasted about the decisions he made during the height of the outbreak in New York and answered questions from reporters like what was the best way to implement his pandemic policies and procedures in Georgia. Mayor Johnson could not shower enough praise on Cuomo, treating him like a king (he even gave him a key to the city).
But as you’ll see from the live stream below, though people were socially distanced 6 feet apart from each other, everyone at the roundtable wore a mask — except for Cuomo and Johnson:
— wtoc11 (@WTOC11) July 20, 2020
Furthermore, you’ll notice below that towards the end of the roundtable discussion, they both stood up and exchanged gifts, getting closer to each other, while still not wearing masks. At one point Cuomo looks like he’s about 3 feet away from Johnson. Not long after that, Johnson put on his mask as the roundtable concluded, and he and Cuomo – who was still maskless – hugged and back patted each other, mere inches apart.
From what I saw in the video (I’ve set it to start when the gift-giving begins), everyone else including even the cameraman wore a mask. In fact, it appeared that by the end of the session, Cuomo was the only one not wearing a mask as he interacted with others at close range:
Here’s a zoomed-in shot of how close they were when their meeting concluded:
Would someone please tell Governor Cuomo to wear a mask? Here he was today, greeting and hugging Savannah's Mayor Johnson, who is wearing a mask but Cuomo isn't. Way to set an example. pic.twitter.com/D8ybsybTuq
— Jerry Stevens (@jerrystevens) July 20, 2020
Here are some screengrabs and other photos that were taken:
Cuomo in Atlanta today with Savannah Mayor Johnson. He’s there as part of his national wear a mask campaign. pic.twitter.com/yeQMdwE1YI
— Denis Fitzgerald (@denisfitz) July 22, 2020
“He’s there as part of his national wear a mask campaign” – while not wearing a mask the entire time.
Savannah GA mayor issued an edict. No mask, $500 fine. Then Cuomo comes to town he’s not forced to wear a mask and is hugged while unmasked. Van’s set himself up for a major lawsuit if he fines anyone pic.twitter.com/PSg9ZWyIBh
— Cheryl Smith (@sheryl_pro) July 21, 2020
What a bleeping hypocrite Cuomo is on masks and social distancing, but then again we already knew that. We also knew that there was no way in hell the national media was going to give too much coverage to the fact that he wasn’t wearing a mask and didn’t social distance even in a state that has seen a significant rise in the number of cases over the last several weeks.
It’s still worth documenting all the same for the record, though, especially when you consider that there are still “reporters” out there who give play by plays on their social media feeds on whether or not President Trump and other administration officials are wearing masks on any given day. They have been nowhere to be found on Cuomo’s mask/social distancing issues, and the reasons why are crystal clear.