A tale of two governors
Donald Trump provoked a controversy midway through the 2020 COVID-19 crisis by asserting that he, the president, set national pandemic policy. If the truth be told, he stepped onto a political minefield, the predictable push/pull of state versus national control on any matter. Most of the "local control" sentiment on pandemic policy comes from the urban American left.
True to form, Trump took a prudent step back and allowed that state governors were free to make local medical decisions and set local economic recovery schedules. Unlike many Democrat governors, Trump would be happy to provide counsel, assistance, and guidance — but no local mandates.
The politics of the shutdown crowd was clear from the start. The national Deep State and the urban creep states sought to extend the shutdown through the fall and the November general election. After all, politicians and technical bureaucrats get paid whether the economy is open or closed. Doctor Fauci takes a bow here.
The hope is that that Trump and Republicans will not survive the anticipated COVID economic fallout.
Trump was savvy enough to recognize the no-win game. Like most issues since 2016, COVID-19 politics is on a fast track to be weaponized for November. In short, urban state governors wanted control and the Wuflu tar baby. Trump, prudently, let them have both.
In any pandemic postmortem, country-by-country, state-by-state, and red-blue comparisons are inevitable.
Alas, the early "science," the early facts and analysis of COVID-19 suggests that those states controlled by the urban left are flunking by any fair mark up. A New York (D) versus Florida (R) comparison, blue versus red, provides an early template for judging who gets high marks for crisis management.
The New York Fail
By any measure New York is not just the national Covid hot spot, it is an international disaster area. Andrew Cuomo's (D) state leads the nation in all statistical categories from infection to morbidity rates.
New York City (D) is now the toxic nexus for the nation. The Big Apple is hands down the necrotic 2020 spoiler in the larger American barrel.
Badgering Washington for more of everything from the start, it turns out that team Mario miscalculated the need for damn near everything, including beds, hospitals, rescue ships, and respirators. Mario Cuomo pushed city mayor de Blasio (D) aside and seized control of metro policy with hype and bombast, if not hysteria.
Incredibly, Cuomo was lionized by the media as "the only adult" in the room as he presided over the worst state or city medical crisis in America, if not the world. Lately, Cuomo is the self-anointed spokesman for the Tri-State region. Albeit, it's not clear that anyone in Connecticut or New Jersey ever voted for Andrew Cuomo.
NYC didn't begin nightly COVID decontamination of the subway system until early May in spite of high transit worker casualties. Several stations, however, were treated for bed bugs in January.
If you can get past the irony, inertia, propaganda, and press fawning, New York City (D) is an epic fail. Whilst the media looked the other way, or fretted about impacts on racial minorities; New York's elderly were condemned to a soft euthanasia. Buoyed by media fawning, Andrew Cuomo came to believe that he could decide who lived or died in New York.
Sixty-four percent of state deaths are over 70 years of age. Men are more than twice as likely as women to die in New York from COVID-19. More than a fourth of all American COVID cases are now found in Cuomo's front and back yard.
A deliberate written state policy consigned COVID-positive aged to New York's "care" ghettoes.
Why not enable the deaths of the most vulnerable? They're going to die anyway, right? The American left has long argued, with a boost from public radio and television, for "death with dignity," a horrid euphemism for assisted suicide.
With an "assist" from the Cuomo clan, as with abortion, color the latest New York body count a bright "progressive" blue.
Somehow, progressive doesn't mean progress anymore.
The Florida (R) Success
Florida has the highest per capita senior demographic in the nation and four major urban complexes. At the moment, Florida has under two thousand fatalities and 23,000 COVID-positive cases in a population of 22 million.
New York State, with a smaller population, has 23,000 deaths and counting, and 348,000 COVID-positive cases and counting, in a population of 19 million.
Governor Ron DeSantis (R) of Florida was the first to resist panic and draconian COVID measures — and the first now to reopen his state for business. DeSantis is routinely excoriated by the media for both policies. If the "science," facts, or truth matters in these things, then DeSantis ought to be canonized as a model crisis governor.
The Cuomo brothers are the heirs of Mario Cuomo (D), erstwhile governor in New York. Brother Christopher (AKA Fredo) is the ex-officio minister of propaganda for the American left over at CNN. If Trump is on his game, he should be tagging Andrew as "Benito" Cuomo any day now.
With Benito in the bully pulpit in Albany and Fredo on airwaves in New York City over at CNN, the Cuomo clan might manage to make the lower reaches of the Hudson look like the upper reaches of the Limpopo before the year is out. If truth is justice, we should pray the wisdom of crowds prevails in November.
God save upstate New York and all of suburban America from progressive, political, urban family dynasties.
G. Murphy Donovan is a Bronx native who writes about the politics of national security.