Three years is a long time in politics. In April 2018 we suggested that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo might make a run for President in 2020. He didn’t, but clearly nursed hopes in that regard. He should have been nursing other things: now hopes and ambitions have turned sour for Mr. Cuomo, suggesting that hubris leads to nemesis, particularly in political life.
After all, in 2020, the ‘Governator’ was walking tall: he was seen as the natural heavyweight opponent of the left’s bête noire, President Trump, doing the heavy lifting in the semi-absence of the party’s actual presidential candidate, Joe Biden. Mr. Biden had issued a ringing endorsement of Cuomo’s ‘gold standard’ handling of Covid-19, which ought to have served as a warning.
Another red flag: the Governor was awarded an Emmy Award for his almost daily death-watch press conferences, which were adjudged to “cross…cultural boundaries to touch our common humanity.” Daily Covid press conferences? Sounds familiar…He also ghosted a book, American Crisis, where he impartially and modestly recounted what a good job he was doing.
Alas, Mr. Cuomo has fallen rather rapidly from grace, though not to the bottom of the abyss à la Anthony Weiner: although, yes, sex is allegedly involved. More disturbing, however, is the overly, overtly political response of the Governor’s staff to the crisis. Gracelessly slapping away President Trump’s provision of pop-up hospitals and a medical ship to treat Covid-infected New Yorkers, the elderly infected were instead plucked from NY hospitals to free-up beds for normal people and shipped back to nursing homes, where the plague attacked the State’s most vulnerable citizens. And then, it seems, they covered-up the damage.
As the New York Times (Jesse McKinley, 19/2/21) reported: “For months, the state now concedes, the official death tally of residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities was greatly underreported. The state counted the total losses, but they were attributed to the hospitals where the patients died, not the facilities where they had lived, effectively hiding the toll the pandemic took on those facilities. But in the wake of a scathing report three weeks ago from the state attorney general, Letitia James, suggesting a major undercount of deaths of nursing home and long-term care residents, the state has now updated those numbers, to more than 15,000 from about 8,500 in late January.” The Emmy Academies might be writing to ask for the gong back. The revised edition of his book might be entitled American Hubris: Leadership Ignorance and Errors re the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Mr. Cuomo’s natural tendency is to turn defence into attack and he came out swinging his bare knuckles, with a series of threats and bizarre grounds of explanation. But it all looks bad, and families of the many deceased are starting to agitate. Moreover, the sleeping members of the press have been stirred awake by sex scandals: some 7 women (so far: apparently there are more) have accused him of inappropriate conduct (ranging from harassment to assault, all of which he denies), and his Democratic colleagues, hitherto heroes of the I-Believe/#Me-too movement, have called on him to resign. It seems they don’t need him anymore, and never liked him that much anyway. Even his TV pundit brother Chris, who conducted a myriad cringe-worthy interviews with the older brother, can’t talk to him (on air) anymore, although that seems to be due to a CNN directive.
Hopefully there won’t be an impeachment trial – haven’t we had enough of those lately? We doubt the Governor will resign – he’s not the type. He will try to ride it out for the remainder of his term, about a year and a half away. The trouble is, his staying might further imperil the Democrat’s mid-term election chances.