A leftover from yesterday, but it’s so obnoxious that righties are still groaning about it a day later on social media. Arguably no media take on the pandemic is less responsible than the idea that New York and New Jersey handled their COVID-19 outbreaks well, but that take is surprisingly common given the stupendous fall-off in cases in both states over the past two months. Andrew Cuomo in particular now wears a halo that no amount of evidence of his many mistakes seems capable of dimming.
It’s the equivalent of Dubya, Kathleen Blanco, and Ray Nagin being heralded as models of competent crisis leadership in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
If the press is determined to find excuses for the mass death that plagued NY and NJ, they could at least focus on the fact that the two were ravaged in the earliest days of the virus coming ashore. Doctors had no idea what they were dealing with at the time, no protocol on how to treat the disease, no sense of how many hospital beds they might need, no drugs proven to mitigate the symptoms. Why, the CDC was telling us that the likeliest mode of transmission was contact with contaminated surfaces, not inhaling aerosolized viral particles. Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy can plead that they were flying blind, and thus should be given a wider berth on mismanagement than governors coping with epidemics right now. And they have been given that. New Yorkers continue to give Cuomo high marks for his handling of the crisis despite plenty of subsequent reporting on his genius “let’s get everyone in the nursing homes infected” policy.