(Headline USA) At the outset of the coronavirus era, two Democratic governors on opposite ends of the country were hailed by the left and the media as heroes for their leadership in a crisis.
Now they’re leaders on the ropes.
For Cuomo, it’s a federal investigation into whether his administration sought to hide the true toll of the pandemic. For Newsom, it’s fending off a recall effort fueled by opposition to his lockdowns — and his own personal missteps.
Cuomo and Newsom both seized the opportunity to exploit the nation’s fear in their own ways.
Cuomo went on television for daily briefings that were paternal, hysterical, unscientific, and also sharply critical of the Trump administration.
They became must-see TV for Democrats across the country, aided in part by his CNN news host brother, Chris Cuomo.
Newsom, meanwhile, instituted early lockdowns, but his state suffered more than any other in the nation.
“This is all a bunch of tough stuff,” said California strategist Rob Stutzman. “At the end of the day, these different approaches the governors have taken have made very little difference because, well, it’s a virus.”
Yet, the approaches taken in California, New York, and all across the nation—including in places controlled by weak Republicans—have devastated people’s lives and livelihoods, leading to increased unemployment, poverty, drug abuse, and suicide.
Under the leadership of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, these states faced similar and oftentimes better outcomes than the lockdown states, with far fewer negative repercussions.
The nursing home issue exploded onto the political scene with two recent revelations.
First, the state’s Democratic attorney general chastised the Cuomo administration for minimizing the death toll at nursing homes by excluding certain fatalities from the count.
Cuomo’s administration then revealed at least 15,000 people living in long-term care facilities have died of COVID-19, nearly double the number Cuomo had initially disclosed.
The New York Post reported that a member of Cuomo’s administration told lawmakers it had withheld the numbers for fear of them being “used against us.” A furious Cuomo at a press conference accused Ron Kim, a Democratic state legislator who spoke to the Post, of corruption.
Kim said Cuomo had called him and threatened to “destroy” him.
A month after Cuomo released his coronavirus book, a hypocritical Newsom was apologizing for attending a lobbyist’s birthday party at the posh French Laundry restaurant, even as he was punishing Californians for attending gatherings.
In January, Newsom abruptly lifted the stay-at-home orders, sparking accusations he was abandoning science.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.