Monday, April 13, 2020

There Are Worse Governors Than Andrew Cuomo, But None Who Are Personally Responsible For As Many Coronavirus Deaths


"Better Than Trump" is just not good enough

The media has created a very positive image for New York neo-liberal governor Andrew Cuomo. No one can deny Cuomo looks relatively good compared to Trump in his pandemic response. But no one should deny that with Trump out of the equation, Cuomo was a disaster for New York where there were 180,458 confirmed cases as of yesterday-- more than China, Italy or Spain-- and close to 8,627 deaths (an out-sized 4.7% totality rate). When Mayor Bill DeBlasio tried to shut New York City down-- the way San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose had shut down-- Cuomo went nuts and overrode him. And he just did it again!

While salivating and empty-headed TV talking heads like Rachel Maddow were working to turn Cuomo into a saint, the New York Post reported that the governor again couldn't control his own ego in a battle with de Blasio over school closures. After the mayor declared the schools will remain closed until the fall term, Cuomo dismissed de Blasio's remarks as only "an opinion" and said he himself hasn't made a decision yet. There's blood on Cuomo's hands and there is no doubt far fewer New Yorkers would have been infected had he not prevented de Blasio from shutting down New York City when he wanted to.
“He didn’t close them, and he can’t open them,” Cuomo said.

A few hours earlier in City Hall, de Blasio said he made the decision after speaking the night before with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious-disease expert on the White House’s coronavirus task force.

“He was so clear about how important keeping the schools closed would be in our overall strategy,” the mayor said. “It will help us to save lives.”

By Saturday evening, de Blasio was digging in his heels.

“My responsibility is not to another elected official,” he said on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation. “My responsibility is to those kids, those parents, those educators.”

“I have to do what I think is right to stop the coronavirus from holding the city in its grip. I have to make sure we get out of this horrible moment in our city’s history and move forward.”

But Cuomo, whose emergency powers trump those of city officials, said it was simply not de Blasio’s call to make.

“It is my legal authority in this situation” via executive order, Cuomo said, quipping that if the mayor wants to close schools, he should do so during a blizzard.

“This is not a snow day,” the governor sniped.

Cuomo first ordered all schools in the state closed on March 18 for two weeks to stem the virus.

He later expanded that executive order to continue through April 29, at which point the shutdown would be re-evaluated.

“It’s not going to be decided in the next few days, because we don’t know,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing in Albany.

“I can’t tell you what June is going to look like. I can’t tell you what May is going to look like. But I can tell you it will be a metropolitan-wide decision.”

City Hall spun the brouhaha as another case in which de Blasio would be proven right, with press secretary Freddi Goldstein noting that Cuomo had dismissed the mayor’s call for a shelter-in-place order in mid-March, but ordered a lockdown three days later.

“We were right then and we’re right now,” Goldstein tweeted.

“Schools will remain closed, just like how we eventually-- days later-- moved to a shelter in place model.”

Cuomo staffers said they got wind of the mayor’s decision only at around 9:25 a.m. in a phone call from de Blasio aides.

They talked about schools staying closed through June, but “they didn’t say they were going to publicly announce this using powers that they don’t have,” said Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi.

Five minutes later, de Blasio publicly declared schools closed for the rest of the academic year.
Meanwhile CNN looked into why the pandemic is so much more catastrophic in New York-- especially New York City and its suburbs-- than anywhere else in the country or, for that matter, the word. They didn't blame Trump or Cuomo, who should share the blame. But they did note that "Sadly, the likeliest explanation for the high death rate, though, is the chronically inadequate health care given to minorities and the poor throughout New York City, as in the rest of the country. New York City and New York state have only now released the race distribution of cases and deaths, as well as by zip code, a surrogate for poverty rates. It is clear that severe disease has not been distributed equally by race and ethnicity. Black and Hispanic New Yorkers represent 51% of the city's population, yet account for 62% of Covid-19 deaths. They have twice the rate of death compared with whites, when adjusted for age. This likely is due to both a higher proportion of black and Hispanic New Yorkers being diagnosed with severe disease and a higher rate of death among those who are known to be infected."
This disparity likely is the result of several factors. Co-morbid conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, are strongly associated with death from Covid-19 and are more common in black and Hispanic communities. But what causes high rates of poorly controlled hypertension and diabetes? Lack of appropriate health care. People who cannot easily find good health care for reasons of money, time, location, or trust may be more likely to stay at home undiagnosed and spread the virus-- as well as experience potentially fatal delays in diagnosis and treatment.

The explanation is the same for New York City as for Italy, New Orleans and probably Iran: the virus exploits weaknesses in health and health care, be it advanced age or co-morbidity or access to care.

Hopefully, the Covid-19 pandemic will force us to reckon honestly with the many shortfalls that have been exposed and build a fair, forward-thinking approach that allows doctors and nurses to care for people in need. Failure to do this will only further darken the memory of those who have died and the hearts of those who remain.
Odd that CNN chose not to mention how-- in the midst of the pandemic response he botched so badly-- Cuomo just forced through a budget that drastically cuts healthcare funds to the exact people they're referring to. The media is protecting, even celebrating, New York's corrupt, thuggish Governor Cuomo. I wonder why. (I don't really wonder why; I'm certain he's being set up for a bigger job.)

How big a scumbag is Cuomo inside Democratic politics? We know he hates the Congressional Progressive Caucus and everything they stand for. Now, Maggie Moran, Cuomo's top political operative-- the one not currently serving a prison term-- is surreptitiously fund-raising against AOC and soliciting campaign operatives to work against her reelection.

One more thing-- this odd map of states that require, encourage and discourage vote by mail. New York (as well as Connecticut, Delaware and New Hampshire) are in pretty strange company-- the 11 beet-red Trump states that make it difficult to vote by mail. Maybe Cuomo should put some energy behind getting New York off this list instead of working so hard to cut Medicaid funding. Conservatives-- and not just Republican conservatives-- hate expanding the franchise.

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At 9:41 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Hands down great post Howie Andrew is no doubt the worst corrupt & scum.

At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I needed to hear prior to seeing this post was that Cuomo was looking to slash Medicaid and had forced many hospitals to close.

He will not get my vote if he's the nominee. We have enough of that crap from the GOP/

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There Are Worse Governors Than Andrew Cuomo, But None Who Are Personally Responsible For As Many Coronavirus Deaths"

But, but, but, Cuomo carries the magical letter "D" behind his name, and by that very fact, just has to be less evil than any Republican that there is. So, let's salute to all such articles that pay lip service to progressivism, but yet conclude that we all need hold our noses and vote for Cuomo anyway.

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bottom-line decision on NYC schools will be made by neither Cuomo nor de Blasio. It will be made by the teachers' union. They're not going to send their teachers into a situation that threatens their health (or the health of their students and the families of both), as per their contract with the city, and they'll go to court to enforce that part of the collectively bargained agreement.

Too bad teachers in NC have no such protections, and please don't mention the NCAE. It's not a union, and it's barely a functional lobbying group.

At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps mankinds' heroes are exactly like their gods.

When they feel a need, they create one out of the ether and ignore all about him/her that is not consistent with their artificial elevation.

interesting how we eagerly accept gods that have such evils written about them as narcissism, genocide, hate, war, torture... could we demand more of our heroes?
no, I suppose not.


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