In college I was randomly assigned a freshman-year roommate who hailed from New Jersey. He was a nice enough sort, I suppose — certainly not one of those nightmare roommates you hear horror stories about — but he had one interesting character flaw: He didn’t understand how nicknames work. He and his friends from “back home” would select nicknames for themselves and then insist on the use of these sobriquets, all the while completely unaware of how lame they sounded. “Hi, Ice, this is Gonzo,” he would say into the phone, and I would cringe so hard that my spine threatened to snap.
In some ways, Andrew Cuomo — Emperor for Life of the godless, economically desolate, liberty-impaired fiefdom that is New York State — is that college roommate. He has never understood that he is not nearly as clever as he believes himself to be. In that way, he has much in common with his idiot brother, Chris “Fredo” Cuomo, who contracted COVID-19 and then wandered around the state doing his best to infect other people. Fredo Cuomo was stupid enough to stage a fake emergence from a basement quarantine he was not maintaining on national television, so it’s probably true that Andrew is at least slightly smarter than his brother. That bar, however, is not high.
Recall, for example, that Andrew Cuomo was briefly famous for something as apolitical as apolitical gets: His nipples are pierced. Or rather, the Internet is convinced that his nipples are pierced. This is because during one of his interminable COVID-19 briefings in New York State, he appeared wearing only a white polo shirt, and the barbell piercings in his nipples were only too apparent. Now, this is not conclusive proof, but while Cuomo’s ex-girlfriend tut-tutted the Internet for “body shaming” her former paramour, I don’t believe she at any time stated, emphatically and explicitly, “No, Andrew’s nipples aren’t pierced.”
The press for a time even touted Cuomo as the state’s most eligible bachelor, after he “separated” from the girlfriend he had moved into the governor’s mansion. I would point out that you can’t “separate” from someone to whom you were never married, but these gender-confused days, I suppose we should be grateful that Cuomo cared enough even to engage in the pretense of a monogamous relationship.
His nipple-related peccadilloes aside, however, Cuomo has plumbed new depths of stupidity, new voids of self-awareness, in his behavior since COVID-19 killed at least 25,000 people in his state. The numbers are probably much, much higher, because nursing home deaths have been undercounted, recategorized as hospital deaths when nursing home patients were transferred. Cuomo’s order forcing nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients, and forbidding them to test patients prior to admission, sentenced thousands of the state’s most vulnerable citizens to death.
Cuomo’s response has been a variety of dissembling and bizarre football spiking. When he isn’t lamely trying to coin the term “The European Virus” for COVID-19 (something he did again during the dreadful Zoom meeting that is the Democrat National Convention), he’s busily revising the history of his failures. Even that fool Dr. Fauci claimed, falsely, that New York had handled the pandemic correctly — when, by definition, it absolutely did not.
Cuomo and his fellow Democrats were encouraging people to attend mass gatherings well into the start of the pandemic in New York, when the WHO was pumping out disinformation (such as the claim that person-to-person spread of COVID-19 was rare). The value of lock-downs is debatable, but Cuomo didn’t enact one until it was far too late to make a difference. He also didn’t close the subways (tubes of contained air that encourage the spread of the virus) or even mandate their nightly disinfection until this was also far too little and too late.
The result of this perfect storm of bad decisions is that thousands of people died. So many people died, in fact, that New York’s infection and death curves were EXACTLY the curves we were told quarantines were supposed to “flatten.” Cuomo is now dancing in the end zone, claiming that his “leadership” is why New York is seeing a low rate of new cases despite massive increases in testing. The reality is that we already killed off most of our vulnerable population, and as COVID-19 tore through the population of New York State, far more people had it than realized they had. We’ve probably achieved something like herd immunity state-wide, specifically because Cuomo did a horrible job.
In this age of media gaslighting, though, Cuomo’s abject failures are held up as successes. His mistakes are lauded as triumphs. Tone deaf as my freshman-year college roommate, Cuomo is now selling posters celebrating New York’s thousands of dead as if this makes him look good — and he’s even writing a book on his masterful leadership during the pandemic. Nothing could be more disgusting. Nothing could be more absurd. Nothing could be more at odds with the reality of what actually happened. But this is New York, and being a Democrat means never having to admit that you were wrong.
As Cuomo bleats, “European virus, European virus, I’m a great leader,” I only hear one thing. I hear, “Hi, Ice, this is Gonzo,” and I roll my eyes. Sardonic disapproval is the only option left to me, and to countless other New Yorkers. We will live with Cuomo’s boot on our neck for as long as he wants to hold office — and there will never be anything we can do about it. We can, however, recognize how awful this man is, how stupid this man is, and how blithely this authoritarian narcissist lies to us.
Those are the facts. They are not in dispute.