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Every slander media flung at Florida’s DeSantis was true of Cuomo

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Every slander media flung at Florida’s DeSantis was true of Cuomo

Throughout the pandemic, the media have been excoriatingly harsh on a governor who was slow to act, unnecessarily endangered the lives of the elderly, alienated experts and cooked the numbers. 

They just thought the governor in question was Florida’s Ron DeSantis, rather than New York’s Andrew Cuomo. 

After it has become clear that Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic was not just criminal in the metaphorical sense, but perhaps in the literal sense, the press has begun, only reluctantly and belatedly, to abandon its long-running Cuomo hagiography. 

It never made any sense to lionize Cuomo at the expense of DeSantis, except that one had a “D” after his name, and the other didn’t, and one hated President Donald Trump, and the other didn’t. The national media also labor under the assumption that New York must be competent, while the Sunshine State is the preserve of the embarrassingly boorish “Florida Man.”

Finally, the media loved the way Cuomo talked about the pandemic at his take-charge news conferences. This was taken as the opposite of Trump’s approach, which it was — Cuomo talked a good game, while utterly botching the substance of the response, while Trump talked irresponsibly about the pandemic, while handling the substance pretty well (or, certainly, not as badly as advertised).

All this meant that the press made both Cuomo and DeSantis into something they weren’t — a hero and a villain, respectively — when it should have been obvious all along that this wasn’t remotely justified. 

From the outset of the pandemic, New York has had the highest number of deaths of any state and still does (47,000), and the second-highest deaths-per-million of anywhere in the country. In contrast, Florida is right around the national average for deaths-per-million. Journalists brushed right by these top-line numbers in the interest of their tendentious narrative-building. 

They erupted in outrage when DeSantis was allegedly slow to close the beaches last March, but they didn’t dwell much on Cuomo saying, when the virus was already spreading throughout his state, “The facts defeat fear. Because the reality is reassuring.” 

They accused DeSantis of unnecessarily endangering seniors, when the Florida governor took steps to protect the nursing homes, and Cuomo, infamously, ordered nursing homes to accept COVID patients. 

They claimed DeSantis was rejecting the “science” by, among other things, pushing to reopen the schools, an approach that has proved out. Meanwhile, experts have fled the New York public-health bureaucracy in response to Cuomo’s high-handedness. 

They bought the bogus story of a Florida data manager who was supposedly persecuted for blowing the whistle on the state’s manipulation of its COVID numbers, when, of course, this is exactly what Cuomo was doing. 

And so the media’s anointed hero of the pandemic — who wrote a book on his own exemplary pandemic response, who won an Emmy, who was elevated to an authority with the standing to comment on how the country was handling the novel coronavirus — is facing calls to resign or face impeachment and is the subject of multiple investigations, while his routine bullying of critics is now out in the open.

Not only are none of these things happening to DeSantis, his policy of avoiding strict lockdowns, which occasioned so much criticism, has avoided the educational and economic downsides of Cuomo’s approach. According to Florida data, the state offers more in-person education than any other in the nation, and it has a lower unemployment rate than the national average and other populous states. This matters greatly to the well-being of Floridians. 

All this said, the virus has presented enormous and excruciating challenges to policymakers around the country. It isn’t healthy to be overly invested in Red State versus Blue State comparisons. But the media gleefully went all-in on this game — and managed to pump up the wrong governor and run down the wrong one, in a failure for the ages. 

Twitter: @RichLowry

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Opinion

Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

Benjamin Netanyahu showed the opposite of grace as he exited from power on Sunday.

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Opinion

Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

The Issue: The discussion of law and order at last week’s Democratic debate for mayor.

If any one of these five candidates becomes mayor, it will be the continuation of the de Blasio era (“Crime focus of Dem debate,” June 11).

Many of them are in favor of defunding the Police Department, which is why there is so much crime, and shootings are rising every day.

The people of this city had better wake up when they go to vote. Haven’t we had enough of this? When will it stop? These candidates will not put an end to all this.

Rob Johann

Queens

Thinking that a Republican candidate could not win the mayoral race in New York, I switched my party to Democrat so I could vote.

After listening to all the Democratic candidates during the debate last week, I want to immediately switch my party back to Republican and vote for Curtis Sliwa.

He is our only hope to live in a city that values law and order. He won’t cave to these left-wing zealots who will further destroy our city and our quality of life.

We need a mayor who can bring back the tourists, help our economy and ensure a better life for all of us.

We cannot let the city go into further decline with any of these Democratic candidates. Please, wake up and vote for someone who will lift all of us up.

Susan Green

Manhattan

The fact that Andrew Yang is slipping in the polls is the only good news in the mayoral race.

Eric Adams is talking about crime, while Yang thinks the biggest issues for the city are AI and climate change.

If Yang wins, people will be dreaming of “the good old days” under Mayor de Blasio, formerly thought to be the bottom of the barrel.

Andrew Delaney

Miami, Fla.

I am not impressed by any of the Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City.

What each of them is proposing will cause further crime, divisiveness and decay, raise taxes, make life more miserable for residents and visitors and drive more families out of the city.

What does it take to get through to the New York voter? How bad does it have to get before they abandon a party that is becoming more idiotic with every election cycle?

Take a look at cities and states that have been doing well under Republican leadership and consider voting Republican.

D.M. Diana

Greeley, Pa.

Even Adams is falling for it. He said the “solution” to city violent crime is to reach out to youth and improve mental-health services.

These chic answers are a guarantee that innocent New Yorkers will continue to be murdered, raped, thrown onto subway tracks and maimed.

Get the violent off the streets first. Whether they are criminal or mentally ill, sort that out afterward. Get them away from the rest of us first.

Paul O’Keefe

Union City, NJ

I generally agree with The Post’s endorsements, but I am baffled by its support of Adams for mayor.

His stance on the NYPD changes at his convenience. One day he’s anti-cop and a fierce critic of the NYPD (even though he was employed by the NYPD), and then he switches and comes across as pro-police.

Can New Yorkers elect a mayor who lacks common sense and leadership skills? His suggestion last summer to New Yorkers to settle disputes about illegal fireworks on their own and not call the police was deadly. Shatavia Walls, 33, died as a result.

Adams lacks the moral compass and common sense required to be a winning mayor. The people of New York deserve better.

Susan Berger

Brooklyn

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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Opinion

Maya Wiley can’t contain her contempt for cops

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Maya Wiley can’t contain her contempt for cops

Maya Wiley again proved what a disaster she’d be as mayor last week, by refusing to commit to not disarming cops.

At the debate, WCBS’s Marcia Kramer pushed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former legal adviser on what she thought of state Attorney General Letitia James’ suggestion to mandate that law-enforcers use force only as a last resort. Wiley dodged: “Safety is job one, and I’m going to keep New Yorkers safe when I’m mayor.”

So Kramer asked if she’d take guns away from the NYPD, and Wiley dropped her bomb: “I am not prepared to make that decision in a debate.”

Huh? What decision is there to make? It’d be absurd to disarm the city’s cops at any time, let alone one when the bad guys are firing their weapons at an ever-higher rate. Yet Wiley’s refusal to commit is an announcement that she finds the idea attractive.

Not that it’s a real surprise: Wiley is a police-hater who demonized NYPD officers in a campaign ad in which she claimed cops don’t think she and other black New Yorkers “deserve to breathe.”

In reality, the NYPD’s work has saved tens of thousands of black lives in recent decades, by bringing the murder rate to historic lows — though it’s now starting to inch back up because Wiley and her fans imagine that police violence is now the greater threat. Literally: She’s vowed to slash the NYPD’s budget because “trauma” from dealing with cops is a bigger problem than crime.

In reality, most minority New Yorkers want more cops in their neighborhoods, though of course they want the police to do their jobs as politely as possible. Then too, the force itself is now majority-minority.

All of which is why Eric Adams wisely made fighting crime the signature issue of his campaign and why he leads in the polls. But a large and fractured field plus the advent of ranked-choice voting could let a loon like Wiley sneak into the Democratic nomination and likely victory in the fall — unless all sane New Yorkers make sure to leave her entirely off their ballots and choose only pro-public-safety candidates.

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