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: 725353

Reported Deaths: 13373
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion990831737
Lake53265963
Allen40302675
Hamilton35392408
St. Joseph35350550
Elkhart28304438
Tippecanoe22315217
Vanderburgh22252396
Porter18596306
Johnson17856376
Hendricks17121313
Clark12908191
Madison12549339
Vigo12400244
Monroe11827168
LaPorte11736210
Delaware10595185
Howard9837215
Kosciusko9358117
Hancock8225140
Bartholomew8038155
Warrick7761155
Floyd7636177
Wayne7007199
Grant7003174
Boone6660101
Morgan6543139
Dubois6143117
Marshall5973111
Dearborn577977
Cass5777105
Henry5675102
Noble556583
Jackson500172
Shelby488596
Lawrence4482120
Gibson434191
Harrison433071
Clinton426653
DeKalb424184
Montgomery423188
Whitley393739
Huntington386980
Steuben381857
Miami379766
Knox371190
Jasper362147
Putnam358260
Wabash352578
Adams340554
Ripley338670
Jefferson328881
White312554
Daviess295499
Wells290481
Decatur283392
Fayette278462
Greene276285
Posey270733
Scott264553
LaGrange264270
Clay258645
Randolph239781
Washington239332
Spencer230831
Jennings229048
Starke213852
Fountain211846
Sullivan210942
Owen196356
Fulton194240
Jay190930
Carroll187820
Perry182537
Orange182154
Rush172725
Vermillion167843
Franklin167235
Tipton161945
Parke145616
Blackford134332
Pike132834
Pulaski116045
Newton107034
Brown101441
Crawford99114
Benton98114
Martin87515
Warren80915
Switzerland7828
Union70610
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1078734

Reported Deaths: 19344
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1253471392
Cuyahoga1113202107
Hamilton797471200
Montgomery512091012
Summit46916933
Lucas41890782
Butler38250580
Stark32150907
Lorain24874480
Warren24236297
Mahoning21439586
Lake20548368
Clermont19719238
Delaware18478131
Licking16384210
Fairfield16116199
Trumbull15974466
Medina15213262
Greene15013244
Clark13942297
Wood13038188
Portage12792201
Allen11590231
Richland11300198
Miami10656215
Muskingum8787132
Wayne8760210
Columbiana8743229
Pickaway8540121
Marion8502135
Tuscarawas8461243
Erie7840154
Hancock6884126
Ross6830152
Ashtabula6765169
Geauga6664148
Scioto6393101
Belmont5837167
Union569647
Lawrence5542102
Jefferson5487151
Huron5419119
Darke5342122
Sandusky5322120
Seneca5258121
Athens518158
Washington5138109
Auglaize487884
Mercer479785
Shelby467693
Knox4477110
Madison435061
Putnam4263100
Ashland420989
Fulton420469
Defiance417797
Crawford3960106
Brown392457
Logan380976
Preble378498
Clinton369961
Ottawa366179
Highland353161
Williams337275
Champaign329658
Guernsey315353
Jackson311851
Perry294550
Morrow283739
Fayette281049
Hardin270164
Henry267966
Coshocton263958
Holmes2591101
Van Wert242663
Pike237333
Adams236552
Gallia235048
Wyandot230654
Hocking214862
Carroll191047
Paulding171740
Meigs144339
Noble133437
Monroe131242
Morgan108323
Harrison107437
Vinton82115
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
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Hi: 59° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 46°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 46°
Huntington
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 46°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 44°
Shower and thunderstorm chances increase Thursday afternoon.
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