About a year ago one of the only things you would hear on the news was ‘flatten the curve’. There was an accompanying graphic showing the rate of COVID-19 transmission. The ‘good curve’ was the predicted transmission rate in a scenario where we implemented strict lock downs, the hope being that this would reduce strain on the hospital system. The ‘bad curve’ was the prediction for a scenario in which steps weren’t taken to mitigate the spread of the virus and a flood of cases all at once would overwhelm the healthcare system. Most areas were able to accommodate COVID-19 patients that needed hospitalization. Some had brushes with disaster, but were able to stretch their staff and resources by limiting elective surgeries and other non-urgent visits to health care facilities. That wasn’t true of all areas.
Whilst the media seems very adamant on pushing the narrative that it’s mostly right-leaning states that are having problems is blatantly false. Data from the American Hospital Association estimates that, as of February 23, 70% or more of hospital beds are full in 7 states: Arizona, Georgia, California, Texas, New York, Nevada, and South Carolina. Only 2 of those states: Texas and South Carolina, had their electoral ballots cast for Trump. It’s a nationwide problem that people on both sides of the aisle have tried to blame on the other. That’s why it was such a surprise to hear that New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo was finally getting called out for his inept handling of his states’ nursing homes. CNN seemed to be actively promoting a positive image of Governor Cuomo for months after his state was the epicenter of the virus in the US in the spring of 2020 by allowing their weeknight news analysis show Cuomo Prime Time to continually have the governor on as a guest. Cuomo Prime Time is, of course, presented by Andrew’s younger brother, Chris Cuomo, who has nothing but great things to say about how well his big bro is handling COVID-19.
Governor Cuomo’s ego trip was made especially obvious in July 2020, when the governor released a commemorative poster of New York’s first 111 days dealing with COVID-19. The poster makes use of a graph representing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, which ironically looks just like the ‘bad curve’ everyone was trying to avoid. And that may actually be one of the better design choices. I’m sure New Yorkers were glad to see that their governor was having a grand old time playing art student rather than focusing on the rising pandemic death toll or keeping New Yorkers, protestors and civilians alike, safe during the period of civil unrest that peaked nationwide over the summer.
His brother Chris also seemed quite unconcerned about the safety of New Yorkers. In late March, the CNN personality announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would be doing his show from his basement in Southampton where he would be quarantining. Less than two weeks later, he was spotted in neighboring East Hampton on a second property that was still being developed. He wasn’t alone either, he was with a group of four other people. The property is not far from a public trail, where a doctor’s father was riding his bike. The man was obviously concerned, as it was public knowledge that Chris had recently tested positive. When he asked (from a safe distance) why Chris was not in quarantine, the news presenter threatened him.
He called the police, but they were less than interested until Chris himself recounted the incident on his radio show, referring to the concerned citizen as a “loser fat-tire biker” and lamenting the fact that his fame made it impossible for him to use more choice words. It seems that no serious disciplinary action was taken by CNN, as Cuomo Prime Time is still on the air.
As mentioned previously, however, his brother isn’t getting off so easy. The governor was already under fire for sending over 9,000 hospitalized, COVID positive, residents of nursing homes back to the nursing homes whilst still contagious. These homes had no choice but to accept recovering residents back into their care, as Cuomo administered a directive stating that they were not allowed to refuse to take them in. It had been claimed that 8,500 long-term care residents had passed away from COVID, but two weeks ago it was revealed that this number was actually closer to 15,000. It was found that nursing home residents that caught the virus in their residence and died in the hospital were not counted as nursing home deaths. When this came to light in mid-February, the governor claimed that this was to prevent ‘double counting’ deaths. When asked, several state officials, including those in Minnesota, reported that they all had no problem finding ways to report these deaths without ‘double counting’. An investigation into the issue has been launched, and the man once idolized as a COVID hero is now under fire by representatives of both political parties, a majority of New Yorkers, and even the producers over at Saturday Night Live. With any luck, justice will be swift and sweet for New York’s former Wonder Boy.