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Douglas Andrews / Sep. 10, 2020

Cuomo Is Cuckoo

The New York governor is lashing out at Trump for his own ghastly leadership failure.

“He has delivered for New York. He has. By and large, it has worked.”

So said Governor Andrew Cuomo back in April. Cuomo was speaking about President Donald Trump and his response to the Empire State’s coronavirus outbreak, which had just begun to recede, and which had been (and remains) by far the most deadly in the nation.

A month earlier, in March, Cuomo had been even more effusive in his praise. “His team is on it,” he said of Trump. “They’ve been responsive, late at night, early in the morning, and they’ve thus far been doing everything that they can do, and I want to say, ‘Thank you,’ and I want to say, ‘I appreciate it.’”

But what a difference a few months (and a looming election) make. Earlier this week, the same Governor Cuomo said at a press conference, “Donald Trump caused the COVID outbreak in New York. That is a fact. It’s a fact that he admitted, and the CDC admitted, and [Dr. Anthony] Fauci admitted.”

Caused. Fact. Admitted.

We don’t think those words mean what he thinks they mean. Either that, or the strains of the job have finally overtaken the governor. There aren’t any licensed shrinks in our humble shop, though, so we can’t declare him non compos mentis in a legal sense. But we can call him cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

This is the same inept governor, after all, who sentenced thousands of his fellow New Yorkers to their deaths by continually returning the state’s elderly COVID-positive patients to the nursing homes and long-term care facilities from which they came, which allowed the virus to spread like wildfire through those tightly packed populations of our most vulnerable citizens. It was the most disastrous COVID-related decision made by any governor in any state in the nation. And Cuomo owns it.

No wonder he’s afraid to support an independent investigation into what exactly happened in those senior-care facilities and nursing homes. No wonder he says it’s just politics. And no wonder even the Associated Press smells a number-fudging, book-cooking rat. “Unlike every other state with major outbreaks,” the AP reported last month, “New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there.”

“The China virus, the China virus, the China virus,” Cuomo clamored. “It was not the China virus. It was the European virus that came to New York. They missed it. They missed it. The China virus went to Europe. It got on a plane. It went to Europe. They never even thought of the possibility. And then three million Europeans got on the plane and came to New York and they brought the virus.”

That’s his story, and he’s sticking to it.

The Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams picks up on Cuomo’s blame game, in which he rails against President Trump for not having “acted sooner to impose a European travel ban, [which] would have spared New York, where the viral outbreak has claimed more than 33,000 lives.” But Cuomo, like a whirling dervish of recrimination, also blasted the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Institutes of Health.

Trump, of course, imposed a partial travel ban on China in February, and he put restrictions on European travel in mid-March. “In both cases,” as Adams notes, “Trump was accused of xenophobia.”

To be fair, it’s been a tough stretch for Cuomo. Long gone are the giddy mid-pandemic days of yukking it up on CNN, and so are the early post-pandemic days of cringeworthy victory laps and cartoonish mountains of death.

These days, Cuomo seems capable only of railing against President Trump — of claiming that “he’s trying to kill New York City” and warning that “he better have an army if he thinks he’s going to walk down the street in New York.”

Ginning up mob violence against a sitting U.S. president? He’s a class act, this Cuomo guy.

(Visit our comprehensive CV19 Pandemic response and recovery page to review our timeline of government and political actions related to the pandemic, and see our related pages regarding the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.)

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