One might think that a governor who allegedly made decisions that killed thousands of his elderly constituents would be eager to see a vaccine for the virus that took their lives. But New York’s Andrew Cuomo is no normal governor.
This is the jamoke whose state has the most deaths from COVID-19 of any but is taking a victory lap and coming out with a book about his abject failure. Now he has a new plan to kill New Yorkers and keep them in economic plight: he isn’t going to let them take a vaccine.
On Thursday, the governor had this say: “The first question is, is the vaccine safe? Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion. New York State will have its own review when the federal government has finished with their review and says it’s safe.”
It’s amazing. Here in New York City, we can’t eat in restaurants, our kids can barely go to school, Broadway theaters and Madison Square Garden are shuttered, people are terrified to get on the subway, and unemployment is out of control. What is the thing that could relieve all of this? A vaccine. But Cuomo doesn’t want us to have a vaccine because that might make Donald Trump look good. It’s disgraceful.
Even Joe Biden, who is actually running against Trump for president, has not cast this kind of utterly unfounded doubt on the vaccine effort Operation Warp Speed. Biden calls for transparency, but he’s not fool enough to flat-out say he doesn’t trust the effort by the federal government to produce the drug.
Trump isn’t the one in the lab, and there is no evidence to suggest that any of the world-class scientists working overtime to save American lives have thrown away their ethics and morals for Trump. The very notion is absurd.
New York State still has about 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. People are still dying — not in the droves they were when Cuomo was shoving infected people into nursing homes, a scandal he assures us requires no investigation — but what happened to “every life counts”? Cuomo insists that he doesn’t trust the federal government’s scientists, but we are supposed to trust his hand-picked team? Are these the same white coats who advised him on the nursing homes?
This is as grossly dangerous and overtly political a health-care policy as you will ever see. I get that Cuomo went from a national hero who was about to replace Biden on the ticket in late March to America’s deadliest governor by May, but killing more New York because he hates Trump is not a good plan to bring back his reputation. The best thing he could do is cheer the arrival of a vaccine and bring his state back to life. But it’s not about his state, it never has been. It is all about Cuomo, the same as ever.
The people of New York and their elected officials need to make it clear as day that Cuomo’s effort to delay our access to a vaccine is utterly unacceptable and must be reversed immediately. Not only is it wildly out of step with the scientific community, but it is also an obvious cynical ploy to deflect from his failures by dumping on Trump.
Unless it’s worse. Unless the governor has come to enjoy the authoritarian powers that the public health crisis has granted him and wants to hold onto that just a little bit longer. Either way, it’s a despicable dereliction of duty.
Not everything is about you, Andrew. The people of New York need this vaccine. There is every reason to believe that the experts who stand behind the vaccine effort are not liars, that they are committed to safety and efficacy.
Get out of the way. Your moment passed about five months ago, and it’s not coming back. What is going to come back is our state. We would like that to happen sooner rather than later, even if you don’t get to be the hero.