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Election Politics

Cuomo: ‘COVID is just a metaphor’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke on day one of the Democrat National Convention, using a rhetorical device of comparing the COVID-19 pandemic to the political ills of the nation, drawing the ire of those on the left and right. 

“We went through hell, but we have learned much. We know that our problems go beyond the COVID virus. COVID is the symptom, not the illness. Our nation is in crisis. And in many ways, COVID is just a metaphor. A virus attacks when the body is weak and when it cannot defend itself. Over these past few years, America’s body politic has been weakened. The divisions have been growing deeper,” Cuomo said in a pre-recorded speech to the convention.

Critics point out that it is the Democrat Party that has created divisions by accusing President Trump of “treason” and referring to his supporters as “racists” and “deplorables.”

In what some consider a paradox, after stating that divisions weaken the nation, Cuomo attacked Trump supporters with a flurry of slurs about racism and xenophobia followed by his view of how Trump was elected:

“Donald Trump didn’t create the initial division. The division created Trump. He only made it worse.”

There is no dispute that COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China but Cuomo indicated that somehow Europe was to blame:

“The European virus infected the Northeast while the White House was still fixated on China.”

Cuomo referenced collective strength before blaming the federal government for virus deaths:

“Our collective strength is exercised through government. It is, in effect, our immune system and our current federal government that is dysfunctional and incompetent. It couldn’t fight off the virus. In fact, it didn’t even see it coming.”

Left-of-center publication, The Atlantic, says that Cuomo didn’t see it coming:

“In contrast to other prominent state and local leaders, Cuomo’s initial response to the coronavirus outbreak was slow and mistake-filled. He initially balked at issuing stay-at-home orders while cases mounted and then ordered sick elderly patients out of hospitals and back to nursing homes, where the virus spread like wildfire. But to the unending frustration of Republicans, the governor’s buoyant image has been a study in the power of public communication to overshadow policy failures,” reported Russell Berman for The Atlantic.

Late Monday evening, President Trump weighed in on the Cuomo speech in a tweet:

“Now AP estimates that the real Cuomo number of people killed because of his total incompetence is 11,000, not the 6000 that was originally thought!”

The Atlantic says that Cuomo may not have been the best choice for the first night of the convention:

“Democrats were looking for pandemic heroes to feature tonight—doctors, nurses, businessmen and -women, and even political leaders. In the legend of Andrew Cuomo, however, they settled for something of a myth.”

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