LONSBERRY: CUOMO IS WRONG TO BLAME LOCALS FOR RESURGENCE


It is clear that the coronavirus is seasonal.

               It is clear that it, like many other viruses closely related to it, goes away in the summer time and comes back in the winter time.

               That is a generalization, and it is based on a combination of human, environmental and viral factors, but it is increasingly undeniably true.

               The government and public health officials aren’t saying so, but it is true nonetheless.

               And that fact ought to be remembered as the number of cases of coronavirus increases, possibly dramatically, in the United States and around the world. It ought to be remembered particularly by state and local governments which have used the virus as a pretense for grabbing power and oppressing the citizenry.

               Specifically, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose state has lost more lives and suffered more economic damage than any other state in the nation.

               As the seasonal resurgence has begun in New York, in the Southern Tier, Western New York and in some communities of New York City, the governor has responded not with understanding and a helping hand, but with mockery and condemnation, and threats of fines and the closing of religious services.

               As nature is sending his state through a second round of covid infection, he is blaming it on citizens, religions and local officials. In near-daily diatribes, he is scolding religious and municipal leaders, and condescendingly chastising people and communities struck by what could properly be called an act of God.

               One of the great failures of Andrew Cuomo in the covid pandemic is his failure to learn empathy. He has shouted that “The virus is death!” and he has talked about his concern for his mother, but there is no apparent sympathy for either the lives or the circumstances of regular New Yorkers.

               They are not victims of the disease, they are subjects of the king – and he is the king. And the rising sickness among them is an insult and an affront to him, which he is blaming on them and their faithlessness in obedience to his commands.

               The increase in illness, in the governor’s view, is not a seasonal resurgence, it is a municipal failure. If stupid people and their stupid mayors would just do what he said – and use their police departments to confront and fine those who don’t – all would be well.

               Which is an illogical conclusion.

               Because, for the first six months of New York’s covid experience, the disease behaved paradoxically to his policy. Meaning that the more he shut down the sicker we got, and the more he opened up the less sick we became. In March and April, cold-weather months when the disease was apparently relatively new among us, he shut the state down tighter than a drum and yet the number of cases and resultant deaths skyrocketed. Then, in May and June, as he opened the state back up – which should have led to increased transmission of the virus – the number of cases fell. And then in July and August, with the state in many ways back open, New York’s covid levels fell to background levels, to levels which will exist for years and maybe decades after vaccines are approved.

               In effect, it went away.

               And then it came back.

               Not because our behavior had changed, but because the season had changed, and the virus’s seasonality had confirmed itself.

               It is, consequently, reasonable to believe that covid will be much more common among us for the next six months or so. That won’t be because we aren’t toeing the line with the governor’s dictates, but because of seasonal factors we cannot control.

               Hopefully, the medical community has developed better treatments and organized its hospital capabilities in a more successful fashion. Hopefully, the society has become skilled at mask usage and social distancing. Hopefully, the workplace has fine tuned working from home. Hopefully, the marketplace has addressed its supply-chain failures.

               And hopefully the governor has learned that he isn’t God.

               And that he can’t lead a state in crisis through condescension and condemnation.

               Sadly, as the seasonal resurgence is beginning, it’s looking like he hasn’t learned a thing.

               Thus the chiding of local authorities, and the threats to fine them, and the call for state mask-enforcement squads sent out to fine anyone who is bare faced. Instead of understanding and coaxing those who feel commanded by God to gather for worship, he has gone directly to ridicule and confrontation, dismissing legitimate humanitarian and constitutional concerns as if they were an impertinent joke.

                He also seems to have failed to learn the incredible human and economic cost imposed by his first round of shutdowns. He blames the federal government for the loss of tens of thousands of New York businesses gutted by his executive orders.

               And while other states respond to the resurgence with a commitment to remain economically open, he doubles down on the threat of shutdowns, blaming New Yorkers for the gubernatorial orders that will further erase the state’s prosperity for years to come.

               Maybe things will change after Election Day, when the Democrats no longer need to fear monger in order to win an election. More likely, they won’t change, they will simply continue to use covid as a wedge issue and an excuse to expand their powers and oppress their constituents.

               Because, in the case of Andrew Cuomo, this has never been about your health – it has always been about his power.

               That’s just the way it is. There is no redress. The legislature is prone before him, the courts are complicit with him, the press is in his pocket, and we all live in the shadow of his whim.

               But you’d think even he would have the decency not to kick us in the head for getting sick as the result of the seasonal vagaries of nature.

               But he doesn’t.

               And so, as the changing weather brings covid back among us, our master is going to blame us and punish us for it.

               Because that’s the kind of monster he is