Thank God for Andrew Cuomo

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CNN's John King and San Antonio, Texas Mayor Ron Nirenberg discuss comments made by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Fox News. Patrick said he's "not living in fear" of the novel coronavirus pandemic and is "all in" on lifting social distancing guidelines.

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 7:41 AM
Updated: Mar 25, 2020 7:41 AM

Never thought I'd say this, but thank God for Andrew Cuomo.

In the midst of a pandemic, Americans need real leadership -- and the New York governor has risen to the occasion. In the face of a feckless, reckless president spreading disinformation by the day, Cuomo has stepped up, using his platform to share accurate public health information and demand action.

It makes him, disturbingly, an outlier. And it reveals how the growing right-wing cult of Trumpism is endangering all Americans.

With some notable, clear-eyed exceptions -- such as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine -- too many high-profile Republican governors and other leaders in states that are most affected are still dragging their feet or even actively putting people at risk. Florida Gov. Ron Ron DeSantis' was reluctant to enforce "social distancing," for example, and Jerry Falwell Jr., Trump's conservative Christian ally, invited up to 5,000 students back to campus at Liberty University in Virginia, where he is president, and also told faculty members to show up.

Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Texas, told Fox News viewers that plenty of American grandparents would be willing to die to save the economy for the next generation.

"I just think there are lots of grandparents out there in this country like me...that what we care about and what we love more than anything are those children," he said.

There's now a creeping, creepy push for Americans to go back to work, despite a deadly virus that is not yet under control. The argument is a dark one: It's worth sacrificing 1 to 2% of the population -- mostly the elderly and immunocompromised -- to avoid plunging the nation into a depression (never mind that wiping out a million or more people and overwhelming our health care infrastructure would probably kill the economy anyway).

The party that claims to be "pro-life" and is using this outbreak to roll back abortion rights (Texas Republican Gov. Gregg Abbot, for example is using the crisis to bar "any type of abortion that is not medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother," said the state's attorney general Ken Paxton) is also telling us that it's worth sacrificing the lives of our elderly and vulnerable to save money..

It's fascinating and telling: The GOP thinks it's A-OK to tell women we have to give up our bodily autonomy, our financial health and even our physical safety in the name of preserving "life," but God forbid they have to take a financial hit to keep people alive in a pandemic.

The financial costs of coronavirus are real, they are painful, and they will get worse before they get better. Our leaders are right to be concerned about the economy. It's true that poverty and starvation may be downstream effects of an economic depression -- coronavirus isn't the only deadly possibility here, even if it's the biggest immediate threat.

But in one of the wealthiest nations on the planet, people don't have to die because they're poor, even during a serious financial crisis. In America, people do die because they're poor, but that's because of policy choices we make. Yes, a depression will be crushing to the poor and vulnerable if we stay on our current financial path of incredible inequality and decide that all of our lives actually matter.

Cuomo offered the right response. "We are not willing to sacrifice 1-2% of New Yorkers," he said in one tweet. "My mother is not expendable," he wrote in another. "Your mother is not expendable. We will not put a dollar figure on human life. We can have a public health strategy that is consistent with an economic one. No one should be talking about social darwinism for the sake of the stock market."

He's also been a leader in pressing the federal government to do something.

"FEMA says 'we're sending 400 ventilators,'" Cuomo said at a press conference Tuesday. "Really? What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000? You pick the 26,000 who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators."

He's right, and he's one of the few voices of reason in this whole mess. But there's only so much power any governor has. To truly combat this thing, we need the White House to step up. We need the leader of our nation to intelligently -- and morally -- lead.

And so far, that's not happening.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312521

Reported Deaths: 5498
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion42641849
Lake27152455
Allen18010298
Elkhart17177221
St. Joseph16799229
Hamilton13011167
Vanderburgh9751120
Tippecanoe858727
Porter827986
Johnson6389165
Hendricks6098157
Vigo608384
Monroe536750
Clark515077
Madison5060122
Delaware4905103
LaPorte465595
Kosciusko462339
Howard344277
Warrick325672
Bartholomew316863
Floyd316277
Wayne307770
Cass299931
Marshall299144
Grant272550
Noble255046
Hancock253852
Henry247537
Boone244554
Dubois237931
Dearborn219030
Jackson215534
Morgan210843
Knox187819
Gibson186925
Shelby182155
Clinton180321
DeKalb177831
Lawrence177648
Adams168222
Miami162614
Wabash162521
Daviess156443
Fayette149234
Steuben147113
Jasper144412
Harrison142924
LaGrange142630
Montgomery142127
Whitley137114
Ripley132115
Huntington127410
Decatur126143
Putnam124627
Randolph124519
Wells124429
White123222
Clay122523
Posey122116
Jefferson118816
Scott109020
Greene102653
Jay99013
Sullivan96416
Starke92021
Jennings85314
Fulton84518
Spencer8378
Perry82521
Fountain7798
Washington7527
Franklin69927
Carroll68613
Orange67328
Vermillion6243
Owen6087
Tipton57627
Parke5706
Newton56312
Rush5438
Blackford53412
Pike50919
Pulaski39515
Martin3585
Brown3424
Benton3402
Crawford2941
Union2702
Switzerland2575
Warren2382
Ohio2317
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 382743

Reported Deaths: 6274
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin51161671
Cuyahoga37222743
Hamilton30493372
Montgomery20518236
Butler15199148
Lucas14566417
Summit13933327
Stark9193206
Warren841976
Mahoning7530300
Lake710067
Lorain6690106
Clermont593651
Delaware572537
Licking564577
Trumbull5584147
Fairfield554464
Greene538066
Clark5218101
Allen494989
Marion476759
Medina471657
Wood4598107
Miami437568
Pickaway404048
Portage358972
Columbiana357698
Tuscarawas342667
Richland328539
Wayne327394
Mercer296047
Muskingum252510
Hancock245940
Ross244559
Auglaize236435
Darke232560
Erie230268
Putnam229449
Ashtabula228354
Geauga211851
Scioto200616
Union19668
Shelby194017
Lawrence193039
Athens19134
Seneca182919
Belmont170229
Madison163119
Sandusky157729
Preble156521
Huron155519
Defiance144823
Holmes140439
Logan133517
Knox131718
Fulton128726
Jefferson128613
Crawford126817
Washington125227
Ottawa124530
Clinton109115
Williams10799
Ashland107825
Highland103718
Brown10135
Henry101323
Hardin99719
Champaign9825
Van Wert97318
Jackson96212
Fayette92717
Morrow9202
Guernsey89314
Coshocton85215
Perry82912
Adams80313
Pike7661
Gallia76513
Wyandot73217
Paulding66511
Hocking64516
Noble62224
Carroll48810
Meigs39612
Monroe32321
Morgan2685
Vinton2246
Harrison2193
Unassigned00
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