The New York Republican Party and several pundits and commentators lambasted New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo after he gave a speech over the weekend criticizing the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic and saying that strong leaders admit their mistakes.
Plugging his new book on leadership during the pandemic at Riverside Church in Morningside Heights in Manhattan Sunday, Cuomo said that a strong leader shouldn't be defensive when he's made mistakes.
"The key is to be strong and secure enough to admit your mistakes and admit your shortcomings, don't get defensive," Cuomo said. "Denying the mistake only assures repeating the mistake."
NY Gov. Cuomo: "The key is to be strong and secure enough to admit your mistakes and admit your shortcomings -- don… https://t.co/6tivF1Ggne— The Hill (@The Hill) 1605485700.0
The New York GOP responded to a video of Cuomo's remarks, blasting the governor and accusing him of dodging responsibility for his numerous mistakes.
After the onset of the pandemic at the beginning of the year, Cuomo infamously issued an executive directive on March 25 requiring nursing home facilities to accept patients diagnosed with COVID-19 from hospitals. The purpose of the order was to free up hospital bed space for an expected overwhelming influx of virus patients. The result of this extraordinary mistake was to house sick coronavirus patients with elderly populations that proved to be extremely susceptible to contracting the disease, resulting in the deaths of about 6,720 New Yorkers in nursing homes, according to estimates from the state Health Department.
Cuomo has never accepted responsibility for this mistake. In fact, the governor has defensively accused his critics of lying and blamed state Republicans and the New York Post for the controversy over his administration's disastrous policy.
In the speech, Cuomo also discussed progress on a coronavirus vaccine, accusing the federal government under President Donald Trump's leadership of politicizing vaccine progress and undermining the American people's confidence in the government.
"We have a vaccine on the way, truly great news," Cuomo said. "But polls say 50% of the American people say they would not take the vaccine if it were available today because they don't trust the way this federal government has politicized the process."
Cuomo added that his administration and independent medical experts will review any vaccine supplied by the Trump administration before distributing it to New Yorkers to increase confidence in the vaccine. He did not mention that in October he said he himself was "not that confident" in the Food and Drug Administration's approval process for a potential vaccine, adding that the American people "should be" "very skeptical."
President Trump on Friday held a press conference updating the nation on Operation Warp Speed and the progress pharmaceutical companies partnered with the federal government have made toward creating and distributing a coronavirus vaccine. The Trump administration announced that they expect to be able to vaccinate 20 million Americans in December and another 25 to 30 million Americans per month on an ongoing basis from there.
In his remarks, Trump called out Cuomo's vaccine skepticism and said the federal government will not be able to deliver a vaccine to New York until Cuomo's reviewers give it approval. In response, Cuomo on Sunday threatened to sue the Trump administration.
"I tell you today, if the Trump administration does not change this plan and does not provide an equitable vaccine process … we will bring legal action to protect New Yorkers," he vowed.
"President Trump must learn the lesson: Stop the abuse. Stop the division. Stop the anger. Stop the hatred. Stop the narcissism. And spend your last months trying to help people and repair the damage you have done," Cuomo said.
Commentators noted Cuomo's jarring hypocrisy. Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean called Cuomo "a real piece of work." Dean's husband's parents were both residents of New York assisted living facilities or nursing homes before they contracted COVID-19 and died.
This guy is a real piece of work. https://t.co/FvYHl1P5Fo— Janice Dean (@Janice Dean) 1605527663.0
Others mocked Cuomo for his seeming lack of self-awareness.
Several thousand grandmas and grandpas, killed as a result of Cuo's senicide order, couldn't be reached for comment. https://t.co/MxibYtPDyF— Sohrab Ahmari (@Sohrab Ahmari) 1605525114.0
Or just criticized his attempt to gaslight New York and the rest of the nation.
Not trying to be funny, this guy is a deluded sociopath https://t.co/PnjZh7Czwj— Buck Sexton (@Buck Sexton) 1605539644.0
Here is a partial @NYGovCuomo blame list as he’s trying to excuse away his disastrous order that killed up to 12,00… https://t.co/qMHaKJ8dfk— Reagan Battalion (@Reagan Battalion) 1605535980.0
This is up there with "Trump and Russia Stole the 2016 Election" types decrying court challenges as a danger to our… https://t.co/foqxeKSVCm— ConservativeNotCrazy (@ConservativeNotCrazy) 1605529908.0
In August at the Democratic National Convention, Cuomo declared that "our way succeeded," claiming his policies lowered the spread of coronavirus in New York and attacking Republicans for failing to control the pandemic, even as tens of thousands of New Yorkers died of the virus and the state's economy was crippled by his policies.
Now, Cuomo's comments on Sunday and his new book on lessons learned from the pandemic come as New York faces a new spike of coronavirus cases and an increase in hospitalizations. In response to this second wave of the pandemic, Cuomo days ago announced a new series of coronavirus restrictions, limiting private gatherings in New York to just 10 people indoors with Thanksgiving around the corner.
"Rhetoric only goes so far, we don't want to hear any more," Cuomo said Sunday. "We want actions, because it is results that matter at the end of the day."