Words and deeds. Your words and deeds reveal what you are, the real you, the inner man or woman. What you say and do reveals what you are made of and what’s in your heart.
I caught a few moments of New York Governor Cuomo’s press conference Friday as he responded to media questioning and criticism of New York State’s misleading statistics related to COVID-19 deaths. Thousands of deaths resulted from his decision to place sick elderly patients in nursing homes. What could possibly have been the problem?
The large numbers of COVID patients placed in nursing homes exposed healthy people to a dangerous illness, leading to the deaths of thousands. As ill-conceived as that plan was, it is not what caused the problem for the governor this week.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James (a Democrat) published a report on Thursday that criticized the New York State Department of Health for misleading the public about the nursing home deaths. Ultimately, it is Governor Cuomo who bears responsibility for the erroneous reporting, as he ordered nursing homes to accept sick patients. Then, as residents became seriously ill, they were transported to a hospital, where many later died. These deaths were then counted as hospital deaths instead of nursing home fatalities, a grossly misleading statistic.
Therefore, nursing home deaths should have been increased by about 50%, but this would have looked worse than published numbers for Cuomo, who had already made an egregious error by placing the sick among the healthy in an already susceptible population.
It’s more than strange that the governor would make this decision, as the Federal government spent millions of dollars to renovate the Javits Center for the purpose of housing COVID patients. The facility was never used. President Trump also had the US Navy hospital ship Comfort sent to New York City to assist, but it was underutilized before being sent back to its home port in Norfolk, Virginia.
Meanwhile, through last spring and much of the summer, through many weeks of daily press briefings, a fawning media posed a series of shallow, uninquisitive, and far-from-the-point questions that never addressed the issues of importance. But the governor gained an undeserved reputation as a solid communicator, an effective leader, and a champion for the people he supposedly serves. He won awards, was mentioned as a possible attorney general in the Biden administration, and some even suggested – wait for it – a potential future presidential candidate.
The truth is that Governor Cuomo made a series of mistakes, at least one of which cost thousands of lives. But instead of accepting responsibility for his mistakes, Cuomo chose to blame others, especially God. I was watching live on Friday as Cuomo calmly stated, “Why COVID? Why did God do this? I don’t know.” Imagine – blaming God for this scourge that was brought upon our nation and the world courtesy of China.
Yet Cuomo’s twisted view of God is nothing new. Last April, after a bit of encouraging news regarding COVID statistics, he said this: “The number is down. God did not do that… because we did that…” Yes, he had the temerity to make both of these poorly considered statements.
Cuomo likes to shift responsibility away from himself and onto others. In his press briefing Friday, he said, “It’s not about pointing fingers of blame.” But during the past year or so, he has done plenty of finger-pointing. Once in a while a person needs to realize that their words and deeds reveal exactly who they are. As for Governor Andrew Cuomo, he needs to take a good long look inside, accept personal responsibility, and then resign.
© Jeffery J. Michaels / Plain English Publications 2021
(Quotations allowed with attribution to this blog)