The mainstream media, as Barack Obama once said, is all wee-weed up for Andrew Cuomo, New York’s Democratic governor.
“Andrew Cuomo may be the single most popular politician in America right now,” CNN wrote earlier this month. “Andrew Cuomo Is the Control Freak We Need Right Now,” The New York Times wrote. “Cuomo Could Be The Leader The Democratic Party And Nation Desperately Need,” The Washington Post wrote.
But let’s take a look at Mr. Cuomo’s actions as governor to see if all the breathless praise is warranted.
New York state has the most coronavirus cases in the United States. There have been 27,169 COVID-19 deaths in the state, the fourth most populous in the U.S., with more than 19 million people. But California, the most populous state at nearly 40 million residents, has had just 2,789 deaths. Texas, second-most populous at about 29 million, has had only 1,121 deaths. And Florida, No. 3 on the list at 21 million and home to many elderly residents, comes in between the two, at 1,779 COVID-19 deaths.
In fact, New York has more deaths than the next five hardest-hit states combined, according to Johns Hopkins Center for System Science and Engineering.
And for that Mr. Cuomo wins daily praise from the MSM?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in its latest filing on May 6, put the “provisional death count” at 44,016 (about half what Hopkins says). The age of death breaks down like this:
0-54 — 7.8%
55-64 — 12.3%
65-74 — 21.2%
75+ — 58.6%
That means nearly eight in 10 of all the people the CDC has provisionally ruled died of COVID-19 were 65 and older. So protecting the elderly is, clearly, the key. And how has Mr. Cuomo done?
New York state has seen more nursing home deaths from the coronavirus than any other state. Why? Mr. Cuomo enacted a state directive that required nursing homes to take in any and all coronavirus patients, which then swept through the most vulnerable population.
“New York has seen over 5,300 coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes, which is about one-fifth of the nation’s total of nursing home deaths (about 26,000). The Associated Press reports an average of 20 to 25 nursing home deaths per day in the state of New York,” the AP wrote Monday.
How did Mr. Cuomo respond to the news? He said at a recent briefing that providing masks and protective wear to nursing homes is “not our job” because the homes are privately owned. Mr. Compassion speaks.
The governor also badly missed his projections of the number of ventilators and hospital beds his state would need. Early on in the pandemic, Mr. Cuomo demanded the federal government supply him with as many as 40,000 ventilators (a number based on, apparently, nothing).
The state had 12,000 ventilators at the time — and ended up not even needing that many. By mid-April, after haranguing President Trump endlessly, he announced he’d start sending hundreds of ventilators to states that needed them more.
Then there were the hospital beds. Mr. Cuomo demanded that Mr. Trump dispatch a Navy ship (that was, at the time, in port being overhauled) to New York City ASAP. Mr. Trump ordered the USNS Comfort, outfitted with 500 beds to handle the overflow from packed hospitals, up to New York City.
How’d that work out? “Nearly 90% of the US Navy hospital ship in New York is empty amid coronavirus fight,” CNBC wrote in mid-April. “As of Friday [April 17], 71 of the USNS Comfort’s 500 beds were occupied.” The ship was sent home after Mr. Cuomo said, “we don’t need it any more.”
The same thing happened with the Javitz Center, which Mr. Cuomo demanded the feds turn into a hospital, outfitted with expensive medical equipment and 2,500 beds.
How’d that go? “As of April 7, the convention center had admitted only 66 patients,” Business Insider reported. By April 20, Javitz had treated just 1,000 patients.
As the governor ramped up for what he said would be biblical destruction in his state, he pleaded with health care workers across the country for help. They arrived in droves.
And how did Mr. Cuomo thank them? He announced last week that he’ll be sending an income tax bill to every out-of-state health care workers who came to New York City to help treat coronavirus patients. Under state law, anyone who works in New York for more than 14 days has to pay state income taxes — and Mr. Cuomo made clear he wouldn’t waive that provision.
Mr. Cuomo — who, for some reason, has begun to call COVID-19 the “European Virus” — has done an abysmal job handling the virus in New York. But hey, the Democrats say, let’s make him president.
That sounds about right.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.