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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

Shootings will keep rising until the politicians admit their disastrous mistakes

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Shootings will keep rising until the politicians admit their disastrous mistakes

Despite the wintry chill last month, the anti-police policies of recent years kept things pretty hot on the streets of Brooklyn, The Bronx and other crime-ridden parts of the city that continue to experience an epidemic of gun violence.

NYPD figures for February show a 26.5 percent drop in overall crime but a 75 percent jump in shootings for February 2021 over the same month last year. The NYPD made 400 gun arrests last month, up 63.9 percent from February 2020.

Since Commissioner Dermot Shea last summer pulled the plug on the plainclothes anti-crime units that had been central to the NYPD’s anti-gun efforts, the increase in gun busts suggests there’s a lot more guns on the street now.

Yes, the NYPD added 200 cameras and 12 square miles of shot-spotter coverage over the last year to help reduce police response time for shootings. But that’s about catching up after the fact. It plainly isn’t keeping perps from carrying and using their guns.

While the pandemic has ebbed and flowed, the surge in gun violence has been steady — with both the virus and the violence hitting the same communities hardest. Yet New York’s leaders are silent on the “racial inequity” resulting from higher crime.

Don’t expect this grim trend to reverse until lawmakers and prosecutors accept the folly of everything they’ve done to embolden career criminals.

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Is Andrew Cuomo too weakened to stop the left from destroying NY?

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Is Andrew Cuomo too weakened to stop the left from destroying NY?

With state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins now calling for his resignation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s position just got even more untenable. He can claim it’s “all politics” and vow to keep governing, but he may well be unable to do his job without selling out the people who elected him.

Over the weekend, fourth and fifth accusers came forward to finger him for off-color behavior in the workplace. New questions also arose about why his staff ignored the procedures for investigating such charges, as did claims that he sent a ringer to his mandatory training on harassment.

And the bleeding will continue. More women may speak out, or more shoes may drop on his coverup of nursing-home fatalities in the wake of his March 25 order that sent COVID-contagious patients into care homes, leading to hundreds of needless deaths. 

The woman in charge of the harassment probe, state Attorney General Tish James, surely has ambitions for his job. And the Legislature may feel compelled to finally open a true independent probe of the care-home horrors.

Meanwhile, Cuomo is now negotiating a new budget with a state Senate and Assembly that have shifted far to the left in recent years. Even though a generous federal bailout will solve New York’s immediate budget problems, they still want higher taxes and other burdens on business — likely triggering a rush to the Empire State’s exits now that the lockdowns have proved that it’s easy to work thousands of miles from Wall Street.

Ominously, the governor’s pretending the cash bath from Washington isn’t enough, and already saying tax hikes are on the table.

It’s no coincidence that the loudest voices in his own party condemning the governor have been the lefties: Because he’s resisted their pernicious policies in the past, they want him sidelined.

 Cuomo may well make catastrophic concessions to buy them off. 

As Stewart-Cousins herself said: “New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it. We need to govern without daily distraction.”

Ominously, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a longtime Cuomo ally, echoed her concern, albeit without flat-out calling on Cuomo to quit. The “deeply disturbing” allegations “have no place whatsoever in government, the workplace or anywhere else,” said Heastie, adding he shares the Senate leader’s “sentiment” about the gov’s “ability to continue to lead this state.”

Moderate New Yorkers who once bought Cuomo’s argument that he’s their best hope for staving off left-wing lunacy must now consider whether a new governor, unhindered by scandal and with a fresh reservoir of public support, can do better.

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Opinion

Another failed WHO whitewash of China’s COVID guilt

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Another failed WHO whitewash of China’s COVID guilt

The World Health Organization basically just admitted to trying to get away with yet another whitewash on behalf of China’s rulers.

The agency last week acknowledged that the report by a team of “investigators” supposedly looking into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan isn’t worth anything — and the agency is scrapping it.

The WHO team still plans to publish a summary along with a final report to be released later. But the simple fact is that it didn’t actually investigate anything.

Kudos to the international group of more than two dozen top scientists who called out the fraud and demanded a real probe into the bug’s origins. They noted that the WHO team completed its “investigative mission” without getting the necessary access: It basically just took Beijing’s word for everything — and gave Chinese team members (and so, China’s rulers) a veto over what went into its “report.”

It’s beyond astonishing that the WHO tried to get away with such games again. The agency has been echoing the Chinese Communist Party’s lies from the pandemic’s start.

China still got some propaganda value from this farce: headlines blaring the WHO investigators’ finding that it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus leaked from a Chinese lab and more likely that the virus originated outside of China and spread to Wuhan via frozen-food packaging.

And why, if the WHO isn’t still in Bejing’s pocket, did it engineer a “fact-finding” mission preprogrammed to help the CCP peddle its absurdist lies?

As the scientists note in an open letter, it was “all but impossible” for the WHO team to conduct a full investigation, especially when it had to run “findings” through the regime.

Put simply, the WHO, just like the CCP, can only be trusted to lie.

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