New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo once again deflected blame for his coronavirus failures, complaining that he should be entitled to sue the Trump administration for not notifying him that the virus was spreading in his state.
“The COVID problem in New York was a direct result of the negligence of the federal government,” he complained. “If this was a private situation, the state could sue the federal government for negligence.”
Of the roughly 5,682,000 cases in the U.S., more than 430,000—or about 7.5%, come from New York, with more than half of those from New York City alone, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The state also far outpaces every other in the number of deaths. Its nearly 33,000 fatalities constitute more than 18% of the nation’s total deaths of around 176,000.
For comparison, the U.S. ratio of deaths to confirmed cases is just over 3%, and the global mortality rate is around 3.5%
Cuomo, a Democrat, was caught unprepared for the onslaught, as were many others, and was found to have depleted the state’s stockpile of personal protective equipment when the first confirmed cases reached the U.S. around late January.
But after demanding thousands of ventilator machines and hyping the need for hospital beds, he was given more than the state needed and later declined federal assistance.
He also has been inconsistent in his reactions—alternately downplaying the dangers of the virus in March, and then over-hyping them, all while begging, thanking and then criticizing Trump for his support or lack thereof.
Meanwhile, his own leadership failures—such as forcing healthy and infected nursing-home residents to co-mingle and failing to properly sanitize the public transit system for month, likely played a major part in the catastrophe.
Without evidence, though, Cuomo put forth a conspiracy theory that the virus—which originated in Wuhan, China, late last year—had reached New York via Europe.
“It went to Europe in January, in February and then it got on a plane it came to New York,” he claimed.
“You know where the European flights come? They come to New York,” he continued. “The come to JFK, they come to Newark and it was coming for weeks and months and they never knew. That’s where the explosion came from.”
Reporters, including those from left-leaning mainstream media outlets, have acknowledged that China was actively working to conceal the virus until late January, even from its own people.
The country then colluded with the World Health Organization to downplay the risk until an explosion of European cases in February and March forced it to declare a global pandemic.
President Donald Trump followed shortly thereafter in declaring a national health emergency that allowed him to better mobilize and coordinate the response.
Cuomo, who faced a massive budget shortfall long before the virus hit, has desperately been angling for a federal bailout but faced a wall of resistance from Trump and Senate Republicans.
Amid an exodus of wealthy New Yorkers fleeing the state’s high taxes and unfavorable business regulations, he has insisted that his unfettered spending on social welfare programs and other liberal priorities has nothing to do with the financial crunch.
“Now, you cost New Yorkers lives and you cost New Yorkers billions of dollars and now to add insult to injury, you want to say you’re not going to provide federal funds to help alleviate the damage that you caused?” he griped.
“That’s going to be the imposition? It’s reprehensible,” he continued. “Let those Congress people produce no federal funds and then come home to New York and run for re-election in November and let’s see what happens.”
Ironically, the media has continued to cover for him, letting his false claims go unchecked, with some even claiming that New York and its governor offered a model response.
Cuomo hinted that whatever sort of restitution he felt he was entitled to would not apply to other states where the virus spread after New York already had become the epicenter.
“Now the other states can’t make that argument because once it happened in New York, now they’re on notice. It’s in America big time,” he said.
However, New York “had no notice,” he continued. We were ambushed because the federal government failed in its job. Failed in its job.”