ABOVE: Fox News Anchor, Tucker Carlson, updates false claims, grandstanding and blame scenarios of Andrew Cuomo on April 7, 2020
By Dr. Leon Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute
As a whistle blower who practiced civil rights law for more than 23 years, I have remained resolute in my mission to expose corruption even when unpopular. Recently I have been plowing through the headlines competition between New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio for a candid perspective on coronavirus politics.
Now in a front page article today, titled “How Delays and Unheeded Warnings Hindered New York’s Virus Fight,” the New York Times finally called out both politicians. Investigative reporter J. David Goodman documents how they dropped the ball time and again, always a step behind the virus as it terrorized the most densely populated, world class city in America.
For too long, various media were fawning all over Andrew Cuomo’s daily news conferences, promoting him as America’s governor with presidential prospects. Haven’t we seen this side show before with the once daily grandstanding of Michael Avenatti? There are countless New Yorkers familiar with Cuomo who would love to send him out as governor of any other state.
We need go no further than his Moreland Commission on Public Corruption. Created in 2013 to remedy a “culture of corruption” in Albany, it was shut down early when overflow testimony began implicating top state leaders. I was among those invited to speak. My exposure of family court corruption led to vicious retaliation which continues to harm me today.
A federal prosecutor, Preet Bharara, was not duped by any of Andrew Cuomo’s oratory. He seized commission files and ended up with prison terms for the leaders of both state houses and a top Cuomo aide (Mario Cuomo’s “adopted son”). Could it be that the only real difference between Cuomo and Avenatti is that the latter was held accountable?
But now, lives are in peril, the carnage is too great to be tolerating these dueling politicians who remain fixated on deflecting attention from their ineptness. Through an abuse of emergency powers, they cannot seem to get out of each other’s way, continuing with their endless turf wars over the years. While many examples have been detailed in prior posts, a few are reiterated here.
As the Times article documents, New York’s first coronavirus case emerged in late February originating from Iran, a virus hot spot then and now. Only days later, a lawyer from New Rochelle working in Manhattan became the first state case of community spread. It led to the first quarantined area. Soon after, in March, the head of the Port Authority tested positive at JFK Airport.
Despite these “fire alarms,” both Cuomo and DeBlasio continued to assure the public that there was no real cause for concern. Now let’s look at some basic facts at that point in their bungling of this crisis. New Rochelle has a city population of about 80,000 residents. Nearby New York City, where the infected lawyer worked, has over 8 million with another 4 million metro.
What logic was there to keeping the latter wide open given a population of 27,000 humans per square mile, one-third foreign born, and most living or working above ground floor? These buildings rise as high as 110 floors, serviced by cramped elevators, and a majority of occupants access them via mass transit.
This was a fire trap of monumental proportion ready to ignite with those who caused it in charge of the fire trucks. Despite dire warnings of a lack of preparedness after 9-11, the SARS, Ebola and H1N1 viruses in the years preceding this one, despite months of advance warning from China, and despite an offer of 16,000 ventilators turned down by Cuomo in 2015, the band played on as it did with the AIDS pandemic decades earlier.
How is it that New York’s governor was more obsessed with spring breakers 1,000 miles away than he was with those playing basketball one mile away in Brooklyn? City playgrounds were not closed until early April after both DeBlasio and Cuomo argued over quarantines (which the latter reserved for “nuclear war”) and school closings (which the former vowed to avoid).
Governor Cuomo bears the brunt of responsibility for all this. He had preemptive authority over those he routinely clashed with other than the president. Even then, when native Donald Trump called for a metro quarantine, Cuomo opposed it with bizarre claims of a “declaration of war against the states.”
Seriously? Did this really happen? Meanwhile, Cuomo was opening the floodgates to coronavirus infection infinitely wider in upstate New York where few leaders acted timely to protect a largely rural and unaffected region. As a result, there are now latent “curves” here which may take far longer to run their course.
We are people benefited by a Constitution. It urges us not to sit idle, glued to Cuomo theatrics each morning, while our families, neighborhoods and businesses collapse. We must show these emerging dictators that we are still in charge. Our trust and patience are waning with each passing day of quarantine politics.
For my part, in addition my blog posts at http://www.leonkoziol.com, I recently started a citizen petition to protect upstate New York and areas beyond. Please sign and share it. If nothing else, you will be on record against the “politics of a pandemic” which stands in the way of vital unity and cooperation.
Reach Dr. Leon Koziol directly at (315) 796-4000, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our PRI office at (315) 380-3420.