Andrew Cuomo sneers at angry, locked-up, out-of-work protestors to 'Get a job as an essential worker'

Back in 1986, Bruce Hornsby & The Range released a big hit, an anthem of social responsibility shaming the heartless:

Standing in line, marking time
Waiting for the welfare dime
'Cause they can't buy a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old ladies' eyes
Just for fun he says, "get a job

Turns out the silk suits have become Democrats, now, running corornavirus-plagued states like New York.

Here's the disgusting remarks that came from New York's governor Andrew Cuomo, whose message to protestors who lost their jobs from his shutdown was this:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that protesters calling for the state to reopen the economy so they can go back to work could “get a job as an essential worker.”

Cuomo made the comment at the end of a long exchange with WRGB reporter Anne McCloy, who told the governor that she spoke with demonstrators outside New York’s state Capitol in Albany before heading inside for the daily press conference. The protesters told her they can’t wait for widespread coronavirus testing – which Cuomo has been pushing  -- and want to return to work so they can have an income and feed their families, McCloy said.

“By the way -- if you want to go to work, go take the job as an essential worker. Do it tomorrow,” Cuomo said.

 Which is a pretty obnoxious and insulting thing to say to people who don't have jobs. Triply insulting, actually:

One, he's suggesting they can work but don't want to work, as if every out of work architect, or bus driver, or  advertising account executive can jump in and take a job as a doctor, or else clean up cigarette butts on the hospital entryway floors as low skilled labor, neither of which is a serious or practical solution.

Two, he's suggesting that he has all these 'essential' jobs on offer and they're available to everyone who asks. It's baloney.

Three, he's reminding the protestors that the work they do is unimportant, 'non-essential' as if having a job that pays money is non-essential, at least as determined by him. How a proverbial advertising executive or plumber staying out of work helps the 'essential workers' from catching the coronavirus is kind of questionable. Yes, some jobs involve work in close quarters, but the shutdown has pretty well shut down all jobs, as if nobody can adapt to social distancing conditions in some glassy high rise office or shop front store.

To say that to people who aren't getting paychecks, and who have yet to get their relatively measly $1,200 stimulus checks, is not only insensitive, it's disgusting.

As Glenn Reynolds noted here -- the U.S. is rapidly dividing into those who have paychecks and those who don't. Cuomo's a have, and he's kicking dirt in the face of those whose economy he just shut down. It just goes to show how out of touch he is. One can only hope that New Yorkers wake up and tell this guy who's been praised in Democratic circles as the face of leadership, that he can be made 'non-essential' too, by the ballot box. He can't learn otherwise, so let him learn the hard way. 

Caricature by DonkeyHotey, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0



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