You’ve been triaged, upstate New York.
The governor put the black tag around your neck.
Some will live and some will die and, well, you don’t get to live.
That’s what Andy Cuomo’s decree of Friday means. Your ventilators go to his voters and when you get the COVID, well, good luck to you. If all goes well, your family can have a memorial service in a year or two, after the Chinese sell us the vaccine.
And if it’s not you, it’s your grandmother, or somebody’s grandfather, suffocating alone on a gurney in a tent.
He has decided to redistribute death, from the areas that weren’t prepared and aren’t social distancing, to the areas that were and are. He is robbing the poor to give to the rich.
He’s taking crucial and irreplaceable medical equipment from those parts of the state that voted for his opponent in the last election, and moving them to those areas of the state that voted for him.
And he’s sending the National Guard to do it.
“Deploy” was the verb he used. He’s deploying the Army to seize gloves, masks, gowns and ventilators from hospitals and clinics in upstate New York.
That will sicken nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists, and kill critically ill patients.
And that’s not just rhetoric, it’s undeniable medical truth.
Andy signed your DNR.
When every network newscast features an angry or frightened nurse shouting into her phone about the need for PPE, Andy Amin is taking PPE away from thousands of nurses across the broad swathe of upstate. He is endangering them and their families. He is increasing the likelihood that they will get infected, and that they will take the virus home to their children, spouses and parents.
When he said, “We’re all in this together,” you didn’t think he was talking about the grave.
The scenario is as old as the state – upstate is the door mat of downstate, a subjugated region overseen by an imperial master whose every action shows a disdain for his inferior colonial subjects. And so it is that in the life-or-death scramble to be prepared for the peak of the coronavirus wave, he has decided that upstate will take the hit.
All across largely rural upstate New York, chronically one of the poorest regions in the United States, hospitals have over years scrimped and saved to be properly equipped to serve their communities. This has been incredibly hard. The need is high and the purse is empty, but they’ve mostly been able to do it. Even when Obamacare forced many of them out of business or into consolidation, they pushed on, taking care of the people whose parents and grandparents sacrificed to build and fund the hospitals.
And then came the coronavirus, and hometown hospitals sprang into action, marshalling their forces and resources. All while facing the financial devastation of the government-ordered suspension of all elective surgeries and procedures – which has led some hospitals to furlough nurses and doctors, and left some with daily operating deficits in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But the hospitals and their wonderful staffs pushed on.
And they stand ready, with enough gloves and masks to get them through a couple of weeks, and not nearly enough ventilators to meet the anticipated need of their communities.
And then Andy “Baby Doc” Duvalier spoke, and confiscated with his pen and his army those ventilators and gloves and masks.
Within two hours his administration’s position went from “excess” supplies to a mandatory 10% to a mandatory 20%, and now the weekend comes and the National Guard trucks are expected to roll and we all know they’ll take whatever the hell he wants.
The SOB took our PPE.
I wonder how many National Guardsmen will be returning on orders to their home communities to gather up and confiscate the medical supplies which would have cared for their own families. I wonder how many National Guard husbands will seize the masks and gloves that would have protected their own nurse wives.
I wonder why a governor whose civil government includes a fleet of thousands of vehicles decided to send military trucks and uniformed soldiers to confiscate medical supplies from his subjects.
Cavalierly in front of reporters, he brushed off any fear of restraining law suits, and said that New York City would return the ventilators when it is done with them, or will reimburse rural hospitals for them. That’s cold comfort from a governor who says he’s broke, and who repeatedly has said ventilators aren’t available on the open market.
Several upstate communities have lit candles to honor and thank the health care workers on the frontlines of this fight. By plundering their personal protective equipment, the governor is assuring that we will next light candles for their funerals. We are marching into battle, and he just confiscated our bullets.
We have elderly people in fear for their lives, and their governor has just made it less likely there will be a ventilator available for them when their crisis comes.
He mishandles his state and its largest city, creating a worse situation than existed in Italy, and puts New York on track to be the hardest-hit region in the global pandemic, and decides to devastate a region which had the good sense to be prepared.
And this all happens on the same day we learn that the unemployment website will be down for at least another week, and the governor gets a $25,000 raise this year and another $25,000 raise next year.
His executive order is an act of homicide.
And Cuomo will be remembered by history as the truck governor.
Army trucks for his theft, and refrigerated trucks for his dead.
3pm: The Governor announced today that he will seize all excess ventilators and medical supplies, and move them downstate. Bob is furious about this. We'll take your calls on the matter, and also provide the daily COVID-19 Update from County Executive Ryan McMahon.
4pm: Congressman Tom Reed joins Bob to discuss the Governor's executive order, that will move ventilators and medical supplies downstate. We'll also field your calls and concerns, on how this could affect all of us upstate.
5pm: We're all really upset about this Executive Order Governor Cuomo issued today. Our phones were flooded with calls from you, airing out your feelings on how ridiculous this is. Bob fields your calls and reactions.