Andrew Cuomo: Incompetent government led to a lot of unnecessary deaths from COVID, you know

I watched this last night, about 18 hours ago, and I’m still woozy from it.

He’s not wrong, of course. It’s absolutely true that many thousands of people, especially very old people in nursing homes, would be alive today if they’d had more competent leaders managing the pandemic.

It’s just that, when you’re hit with a dose of oblivious irony as powerful as this, it feels like a two-by-four across the back of the head. I think I have brain damage now.

So it’s only fair that you should have it too.

Despite the fact that Cuomo was slower than even Bill de Blasio to support a lockdown last March and, of course, famously sent infected seniors back into nursing homes, it’s been his standard response for many months to blame Trump for all of New York’s COVID problems. But even so, and allowing for the fact that this aired on MSNBC, how does Nicolle Wallace let him get away with a soundbite like that without instantly replying, “What the f***?”

What’s really weird is that that soundbite isn’t the most dizzyingly ironic thing he’s said about COVID this week. This is:

He published a book boasting about his alleged crisis leadership halfway through the pandemic.

I’ll say this much for him in the interest of scrupulous fairness: New York has become one of the better performing states in distributing the vaccines. In terms of the percentage of doses that have already been administered, it’s sixth among the 50 states. In terms of the percentage of the population that’s received a first dose, it’s ninth. Members of my own family who are eligible were able to get their first shots pretty expeditiously. It’d be welcome if Cuomo managed to handle the next nine months of the crisis better than he handled the first nine. Although, realistically, how could he not?

He announced today that New York is easing certain restrictions on businesses due to declining case counts lately, but of course everything is contingent on infection trends and could change at a moment’s notice. I’ll leave you with this viral clip, which captures that reality perfectly. It’ll be different next year. I hope.