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RIP Cuomosexuals: Why Governors Would Never Be Our Saviors

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 8: New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference on September 8, 2020 in New York City. Although Cuomo is easing restrictions on casinos and shopping malls across the state, despite pressure from business owners, Cuomo has refused to do so for indoor restaurants in New York City, citing the city’s efforts to enforce earlier state orders. (Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images) When COVID-19 was first declared a global pandemic, the US didn’t exactly have a national leader. We had Donald Trump wondering aloud whether taking disinfectants could kill the virus. We had Mike Pence, an anti-science vice president in charge of the White House’s COVID response team, only to be relatively absent in his final months in office. The bar was so low that when New York became the epicenter of the virus, Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly and easily emerged as anti-Trump: the hero, the so-called coronavirus savior. He held daily press conferences and listened to experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci too. He wore a mask and instructed others to do so. He outlined safe practices. In essence, he appeared calm, capable – and most importantly – honest. But Cuomo’s integrity and leadership have been increasingly challenged since the beginning of the pandemic. Revelations showed how many people in America were simply blind to the truth. In January, New York Attorney General Letitia James released a 76-page document claiming Cuomo had reported the number of deaths in nursing homes in the state. The health department quickly confirmed their claims, reporting that Cuomo had counted no more than 3,800 deaths in the death toll in nursing homes. Weeks later, in the remarks first published by the New York Post, Cuomo’s top adviser Melissa DeRosa reportedly testified to lawmakers that his government was “frozen” when she was presented with a legal petition for the death toll in nursing homes Fear that the actual numbers would be used “against” us “by the Trump administration. Cuomo acknowledged the mistake somewhat on Monday. “The void we created by not providing information has been filled with skepticism, cynicism and conspiracy theories that have created confusion. You don’t provide information, something provides the information,” said the governor. “Above all, the void we created allowed disinformation.” However, he claimed that the numbers were “always reported completely, publicly and accurately”. According to James’ claims, the state’s death toll was correct, but Cuomo did not count residents who died in hospitals among New York’s high death toll in nursing homes. The misstep carries considerable weight, as these institutions were not prepared for the second wave in New York. (An October report shows nursing homes remain understaffed despite efforts to further spike COVID cases and Cuomo’s efforts to speed up testing.) And Cuomo was largely responsible for the already high number of deaths in nursing homes: Last year, he signed a controversial order to send thousands of residents with COVID-19 back to nursing homes instead of hospitals. The order was later reversed. The order was signed and canceled back in March, at a time when Cuomo was still revered nationwide. People jokingly called themselves “Cuomosexuals,” and his immense popularity earned him fame, accolades, and a bookstore. New York steadily crept into a second wave as Cuomo’s book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From The COVID-19 Pandemic, was published. (He has also been criticized for failing to mention the state’s many missteps in his retelling, such as letting people die in New York prisons and refusing to introduce vaccination in places like Rikers, where crowds of COVID persist For the past few weeks, the Democrats have distanced themselves from Cuomo, pushing for accountability and the lifting of the emergency powers granted to him at the start of the pandemic. The Republicans were furious and demanded Cuomo’s impeachment. But both Republican and Democratic governors are failing similarly in their states, pointing to a widespread, bipartisan problem. For example, South Dakota’s Kristi Noem has put almost no restrictions or safety measures in place, and by December the state had the highest number of COVID deaths per capita. And like Cuomo, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has also been accused of refusing to reveal a number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, particularly in nursing homes and schools. In September, he urged school districts not to report data on cases among students, prompting the districts to take matters into their own hands. “This is just another political maneuver to make the situation look better than it is,” Pamela Marsh, president of the First Amendment Foundation in Florida, told Politico. “Transparency is the only way our executives can survive this with any public trust.” The governors also failed to implement successful vaccine distribution plans. Cuomo created his own plan and ignored the advice of the New York health authorities, causing many to stop. Even though Massachusetts is a blue state, the vaccine was introduced in a shockingly bleak way, largely thanks to Republican Governor Charlie Baker. Right now, the state ranks at the bottom of almost every vaccine distribution ranking, and on Friday the state senators and officials signed a letter to Baker asking for a better plan. “A disjointed and cumbersome registration process has left seniors confused and unable to access much-needed vaccine appointments,” the Massachusetts delegation wrote. “The disproportionate dependence on mass vaccination centers has meant that appointments are not filled and large parts of our most vulnerable population groups are no longer supplied.” Many governors have spoken of problems introducing vaccines in their state, and accused the federal government of creating confusion. But perhaps the only other governor to reach Cuomo’s initial level of success (and later his shame) was California Governor Gavin Newsom, who was quickly disgraced. In the first month of the pandemic, his approval rating soared from 42% to 83%, and many Americans praised him for implementing the first statewide shutdown. But he has failed to enforce certain orders and take action against districts that disregarded his actions. “If there are no clear consequences for our health instructions, people will continue to ignore them. Both companies and individuals, ”Senator Steve Glazer told the Sacramento Bee. Newsom was also criticized for its dire plan to reopen the school and the sudden lifting of the state’s stay-at-home order in January. The order came just weeks after cases hit an unprecedented level, peaking at nearly 46,000. The Californians are currently trying to oust him: as of this week, 1.5 million people have signed up to call Newsom back and trigger a special election in March. In several ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored America’s massive and innumerable leadership problems. There was messed up communication between federal, local and state governments. Recently, President Joe Biden fiddled with the US early vaccine rollout. But mostly, under the gross neglect of our last administration, the governors became foils for Trump. Polls showed that almost every governor’s approval rating rose in April, with Cuomo and Newsom’s numbers nearly doubling. Cuomo and Baker have both received leadership awards. Cuomo even earned an Emmy. In truth, the US governors are nothing more than a ship with which our greater leadership failed us over the course of the year. In the hands of our local elected officials, the pandemic worsened – America became a mockery of other countries, particularly when the governor of the most infected state in the world wrote a book about his success and had entertaining ideas for joining the ranks in the US -Administration. But vague platitudes, fame, and best-sellers won’t save us – and neither will our governors. They are not heroes. They are still politicians and always will be. Do you like what you see? How about a little more R29 grade, right here? 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