Given Governor Andrew Cuomo’s autocratic and micro-management of New York’s response to the novel coronavirus, we were intrigued by several lines in his State of the State speech on Monday.
In his 55-minute presentation, he said, “We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. The cost is too high. We will have nothing left to open. We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely.”
But wasn’t it recently that the governor was discussing plans for more and broader lockdowns. Wasn’t he just talking about imposing greater restrictions on houses of worship, restaurants, and other businesses? Wasn’t it not too long ago that he talked about substantially raising the penalties for those violating his lockdown rules? And for months, didn’t he summarily and derisively dismiss any talk of opening up business? Why the sudden reversal?
To be sure, we are now on the cusp of widespread availability of vaccines to fight Covid-19. But if there were no longer any danger posed by the coronavirus because of the vaccine, why did he caution that openings must be “smart” and “safe”?
Perhaps most striking is his current rationale for not accepting the dangers: “The cost is too high. We will have nothing left to open.” Where was that concern earlier on? What has changed for the governor after months of piling restrictions on top of restrictions and rejecting pleas to reopen in order to save the economy?
May we humbly suggest that opening the economy before Election Day on November 3 would have resulted in economic benefits on President Trump’s watch while the benefits from opening now will accrue on Joe Biden’s watch.
Sorry, but nothing else makes sense. And our governor is, after all, a charter member of the anti-Trump Resistance.