• Daniel Ethan Finneran

Cuomo's Culpability: An Incontrovertible Fact

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, son of a venerated name and paragon of gubernatorial decorum, is reaching toward ever-lower depths of moral culpability and professional malfeasance. The stratum of the earth into which he’s endeavored to plunge is quite beyond the detection of modern science. Advanced in so many other ways (we’ve just this week landed a rover, after a half-year’s journey, on the noxious surface of Mars) it’s not yet so sensitive as to expose the dark habitation of so deliberately obscure, fatally incompetent, unabashedly mean, and foully subterranean a man.

Governor Cuomo’s descent, it seems, can only be gauged by the blunt reading of a political yardstick. By that instrument alone can his unfavorability be measured and his guilt properly assessed. One need only dig through the odium beneath which he’s now buried (of which, for well-neigh a year, his army of defenders in the media tried to cleanse him) to gaze upon such an unbecoming person, and such a soiled reputation.

The history of his failures, though long concealed, has become widely-known. At the very outset of the pandemic, when everyone was ignorant of the virulence by which this Asiatic disease was attended, Cuomo offered no discouragement to large gatherings, socially “un”-distanced groups between whom so energetic a bug might quickly spread. He and Bill DeBlasio, mayor of New York City, failed to sanitize the subway cars and to streamline the efficiency and safety of this most essential means of urban transportation.

Then, on the twenty-fifth of March, a day that haunts the memory even more than that same month’s ancient ides, he issued his infamous decree: irrespective of their condition, all residents discharged from a hospital must be welcomed back into nursing facilities from which they came, or to which, for further rehabilitation and treatment, they’d been referred. Impervious to the protests of the medical directors of said facilities, to whom the danger of this edict was immediately apparent, Cuomo declared that his mandate was to brook no evasion. It was, rather, a fiat with which all would be made to comply.

It lasted until the tenth of May, at which point it was quietly abandoned. Republican legislators, and even a few inquisitive centrists, were startled by so abrupt a change in policy, a drastic shift about which the administration had grown uncharacteristically silent. They proceeded to ask Cuomo and his staff for the numbers of nursing home deaths for which their misguided policy might be responsible.

At every turn, they were rebuffed. The legacy media, echoing the plaudits and adding to the encomia of the man imagined to be the anti-Trump, were incurious, to say the least. When Cuomo’s administration did finally deign to the requests for the release its undisclosed numbers, they were grossly misleading. This was the finding made by the state’s Attorney General, Letitia James, a tough, Democrat public official by whose unflattering estimate, the administration undercounted nursing home deaths by more than fifty percent.

As it turns out, James wasn’t the only Democrat exasperated by the governor’s callous behavior. State legislators—aroused, all of a sudden, if not by their conscience, then by their angry constituents—joined their opponents on the right in asking questions of the administration. Satisfactory answers were refused them, as they were all others.

In a recently-leaked zoom call, to which a group of Albany Democrats was exclusively privy, a top Cuomo aide by the name of Melissa DeRosa admitted that her boss intentionally concealed the nursing home death statistics. She explained, to the nodding understanding of all, that federal investigators were hot on their trail and that, should the truth be revealed, President Trump would proceed to claim that, “We killed everyone in nursing homes”—a narrative by which her Emmy-award-winning boss’ immaculate reputation might be unfairly sullied.

Never has so candid an admission to a crime been made, and never so studiously ignored.

Through the course of these revelations, Cuomo remained intransigent. He cast not only blame, but hurtful aspersions on everyone aside from himself. He blamed the humble workers by whom the nursing facilities were staffed, the medical directors to whom so many devout employees answered, the federal government from which, in his words, he unquestioningly received direction, and, of course, President Trump, the man by whom his every need was filled (remember the ventilators, the USNS Comfort, the Javits Center), yet for whom he harbored nothing but enmity.

To top it all off, it’s now been revealed that, when unencumbered by his literary pursuits, his television appearances, his Emmy acceptances, his bald-faced mendacity, and his obfuscation of data, he fills his time making personal calls of intimidation to fellow elected officials. He did so just the other night to Ron Kim, a state assemblyman upon whom he unleashed his fury.

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Success, ‘tis said, yet more success begets– On the prosperous rains ever more profits. So reads the adage of the Gospel’s Jew: The iron law, the Effect of Matthew. “To him who has much, more will be