Some leaders command respect as they confront adversity; they summon inner strength, make informed decisions, and build compelling narratives to explain their actions. Others, like Governor Andrew Cuomo, do not. The New York Young Republican Club calls on Andrew Cuomo to resign immediately.
New Yorkers have long known that Andrew Cuomo lacks integrity. However, his past indiscretions pale compared to those of the COVID era. Bribes from real estate developers and sleazy campaign personnel surprise no one, while enacting policies to kill New Yorkers and lying about it reasonably raise eyebrows. Recent revelations from the New York Post underscore that the blood of thousands of New Yorkers stains Cuomo’s hands indelibly. Their families, their friends, and everyone else not employed by A. G. Sulzberger know it.
News of Andrew Cuomo’s malfeasance has floated widely in recent months. From the time of his initial order that nursing homes accept COVID-positive patients, Andrew Cuomo condemned a swathe of elderly New Yorkers to death. Never one to admit a mistake, he retrenched himself multiple times. He requested and received permission to use the USNS Comfort for COVID patients, but, intent not to give President Donald J Trump a “win,” he never granted permission to transfer patients to it. He manipulated statistics and counted deaths based on location. This had the (intended) effect of decreasing the reported count of nursing home deaths.
The New York Post now tells a fuller story, quoting Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa:
“[President Donald J Trump] starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes. He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer. […]
“[He] directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us. And basically, we froze. Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to [Democrat candidates], what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation. That played a very large role into this.”
Andrew Cuomo knew what he did when he sent sick people to ill-equipped facilities home to elderly and frail New Yorkers. He knew what he did was stupid. He knew what he did was wrong. And unable to own up to his error and rectify it quickly, he retrenched and lied while New Yorkers died. In the meantime, he wrote a book to laud himself and his masterful handling of a pandemic that killed 15,000 people in nursing homes.
Unsurprisingly, Andrew Cuomo’s book, much like his press conferences, is filled with untruths. Though the panel that selected him for the International Emmy Founders Award did not notice, if one listens carefully to him, the unmistakable tenor of Iago emerges:
And what’s he then that says I play the villain?
When this advice is free I give and honest
Othello, Act 2, Scene 3
Andrew Cuomo is the Iago of our day—outwardly dedicated and honest, but inwardly rotten to the bone. But will he suffer the fate of Iago for his crimes? Let us hope that New Yorkers hold him to account. We certainly plan to.