New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been toasting his own victory over the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic in recent days, but many people argue the Democrat should actually be ashamed.
By Ellie Bufkin
Cuomo has touted the state's falling infection rate numbers and throttled mortality rate as evidence that he handled the pandemic with aplomb, even offering his "expertise" in other states dealing with spikes in cases. Last week, Cuomo unveiled a whimsical poster illustrating just how well the state handled the pandemic. He then offered that poster, complete with cartoonish jabs at the president and inside jokes about his daughter's boyfriend, for sale on the New York State website.
On Tuesday, Cuomo traveled to Savannah, Georgia to consult and advise local leaders about how to address the rise in COVID-19 cases. But anyone interested in the reality of the disease crisis in New York saw immediately through Cuomo's self-congratulation and pointed out that 32,000 New Yorkers died on his watch, including more than 6,000 nursing home residents forced by state policy to cohabitate with infected patients.
Georgia, Texas, and Florida, three states currently experiencing rising case numbers, have variously been excoriated by Cuomo has he toots his own horn for steering the Empire State into the safe zone. New York has counted 20,000 more deaths from COVID-19 than all three of those states combined.
To further hoist his own image as the champion of coronavirus 2020, Cuomo has issued strict quarantine orders for travelers from 31 states, more than half the country, because of political issues he has created with other state leaders and their handling of the virus. His threat to visitors from those states includes forcing airline passengers to share personal details, addresses, and itineraries. Failure to comply, he says, could result in forced quarantine. It is not yet clear how Cuomo intends to enforce the new draconian mandate.
Cuomo also claimed, without any evidence, that people from those states he has postured against in the rest of the country are flocking to New York because of its record of safety from COVID-19.
"We now have people coming to New York, fleeing the other states because it's the 'safe state,'" Cuomo said on Tuesday.
But even pushing aside his revisionist story about how New York has handled the virus so well, despite having more deaths and cases than any other state by an enormous margin, New York is facing multiple other crises due to social justice calls to defund the police. The state's largest city, and most populous in the nation, is facing an unprecedented and deadly wave of violent crime.
Even though Cuomo has already claimed victory over the virus, he and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio are still exploiting their emergency pandemic tyrannical reigns to stifle the economy of the city. The suffocating shutdowns, impossibly slow rollbacks, and billions of dollars in damage caused by rioting, looting, and anarchy, have left the city's small businesses in ruins.
A new study by The Partnership for New York City estimated that the combined damage of the lockdowns and stunning rise in violent crimes have set up nearly a third of the city's small businesses to never again be able to open their doors. Business owners of color, the study suggests, are particularly vulnerable.
"Funds to restart, pay back rent and buy inventory are exhausted, leaving tens of thousands of entrepreneurs at risk, particularly business owners of color,” said authors Kathryn Wylde and Natasha Avanessians.
The study notes that in New York City, foot traffic was a considerable factor that determined a small business's ability to survive while operating with narrow margins. Because of COVID-19 shutdowns, the study says, that foot traffic has been significantly diminished or eliminated altogether.
Most small businesses never had enough cash on hand to weather a prolonged shutdown, even for a few weeks, particularly in an expensive city like New York. CARES Act stimulus money and PPP loans approved by Congress were enough for some small businesses to partially open for a few months, but as shutdowns in NYC continue far longer than the residents and even Congress projected, those businesses are anticipating a fatal blow.
Further, regulations, taxes, and fees imposed on small businesses in Democrat-run cities like New York have created an impossible future any operation that is not buoyed by huge influxes of corporate money.
"Over the past decade, political forces have created a much more expensive and litigious environment for business that is no longer sustainable for those whose margins were narrow before the pandemic," the study says of the grim future for small businesses.
So while Cuomo basks in his own faux glory, New York City and its residents are poised for a long-term economic collapse that will see the destruction of small businesses on an unprecedented scale. Perhaps he should spend less time threatening visitors who dare to stimulate the collapsed NYC economy and more time listening to the suffering people of his own state.
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