Earlier this week, Random House Publishing Group announced that they would be publishing Gov Andrew Cuomo’s new book. The book is titled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic.” It details Gov Cuomo’s response to the novel virus in New York. The book is set to be released on October 13th.
It is interesting that Cuomo is writing a this book. It’s true that the number of reported coronavirus cases has gone down in New York. Despite this, New York is one of the worst states for the coronavirus. Over 32,000 people have died from COVID in New York. This is more than the total number of COVID deaths from California, Florida, and Texas combined. Even the New York Times has published articles detailing the failures and rage over Cuomo’s decisions.
Cuomo’s Greatest Failure
Cuomo’s failure to handle the pandemic can be seen in some earlier decisions he has made. In perhaps his most controversial move, Cuomo ordered NY nursing homes to take in infected patients. Cuomo and state officials even defended the move. In July of this year, they created a report of this order. The report claims that such a move didn’t significantly impact New York COVID deaths.
However, many health experts are unsatisfied with it. Denis Nash, an epidemiologist and director of the CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health, stated he didn’t believe the report adequately proves this conclusion. Other health experts are concerned with the data analytics of the study. For example, the report cites that the median number of patients sent to nursing homes were previously hospitalized for nine days, which represents the time needed for a COVID patient to be likely non-contagious. This is problematic because the median of a dataset represents the “middle”, with 50% of the data points greater than the median and 50% less.
This means that about 50% of patients sent to nursing homes were hospitalized for less than nine days. Health experts have cited this and expressed concern that some patients sent to nursing homes were still contagious, leading to a spike in cases.
Yet despite the mistakes made in NY, Cuomo still boasts of NY’s handling of the pandemic, even with almost 33,000 dead (which is 11 times more deaths than 9/11). When critics cite his mistakes, he blames everyone else: Trump, health experts, hospital/ nursing home staff, etc. Yet, we are supposed to look up to him and his example for leadership during this time?