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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s right: New Yorkers should celebrate the return to normalcy after 15 months of COVID restrictions. But the state’s victory over COVID came largely despite his “leadership,” not because of it.
Indeed, Cuomo’s audacious 45 minutes of self-praise Tuesday — “We stepped forward boldly” and “led the nation,” in state mandates “have proven right” — came the very day The Post reported on a study by the New York State Bar Association blasting him for his “now infamous” order for nursing homes to take in COVID-contagious patients last year.
“There are credible reviews that suggest [Cuomo’s] directive … did lead to some number of additional deaths” — and claims to the contrary by his Health Department have “now been shown” false, the report finds. It relies in part on an Empire Center analysis linking “several hundred and possibly more than 1,000” fatalities to Cuomo’s March 25, 2020, mandate.
The NYSBA also slams the gov for stubbornly sticking by his deadly mandate for far too long before finally giving in to public pressure six weeks later.
Yet Cuomo made no mention of any of that. Instead, he tried to take credit for everything that went right during the pandemic, like the vaccines that were produced and distributed in record time under President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed — despite the doubt Cuomo cast on them and delays he caused.
Nor did he mention the enormous damage from his school closure rules, crazy and arbitrary decrees (no alcoholic beverages without food) and broader-than-necessary lockdowns that he kept in place far too long, fueling business failures.
As New Yorkers shrug off restrictions and step into a brighter future after so many dark months, we should never forget the fatal mistakes that were made and the lessons that need to be learned.
Cuomo has no right to take a “victory” lap: New York had more deaths per million than any other state except New Jersey, despite lockdowns that wrecked the economy, deprived kids of their education and could’ve been rolled back long ago. We don’t expect an apology. But can’t he — after all we’ve been through — at least show a modicum of humility?
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