The New York governor messaged to the press like the situation was well under control, or at least on the way to being under control. “Everybody is doing exactly what we need to do,” Cuomo said during a March 2 news conference with New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. “We have been ahead of this from Day 1,” Fredo’s big bro said. He directly contradicted himself during a March 30 press conference, stating, “I am tired of being behind this virus. We’ve been behind this virus from day one.” About six weeks later, New York State would cross one thousand coronavirus deaths in a single day.
Cuomo said in April 2020 that “data suggests we are flattening the curve so far.” If that was the case, why did it take until February 2021 for indoor dining to return to New York City?
Cuomo brazenly published a book on pandemic-era leadership on October 13, 2020. On that day, New York recorded 1,391 new coronavirus cases. New York then experienced a massive coronavirus surge, hitting 19,560 new cases on January 8, 2021, fourteen times more than the day Cuomo’s book was released. All the while, the statewide lockdowns crushed countless businesses and even entire industries. Unemployment for the state hit 14.7 percent in April, the highest rate since the great depression. By September, Yelp reported that over 11,000 New York City businesses had closed. Most closures—63 percent—were expected to be permanent. The Partnership for New York City estimated that perhaps 80,000(!) of the city’s small businesses would not outlive the pandemic.
Cuomo was also responsible for what Marlow describes as “the single most devastating public policy decision of the entire pandemic: cramming sick patients into nursing homes, essentially sentencing many other patients to their deaths.” His administration has still not sufficiently answered for that egregious policy decision, and the corporate media has failed to hold Cuomo accountable. Instead, they kept their focus on Florida Gov. DeSantis, who essentially took the opposite approach of Cuomo, prioritizing freedom by allowing businesses to reopen, suspending coronavirus-related fines imposed by localities, reopening schools, and most recently, banning the use of vaccine passports in the Sunshine State — a move he remains committed to. And the results? Florida thrived, Marlow notes:
Florida, meanwhile, kept its economy mostly open and still fared relatively well with the virus. A candidate for line of the year came in a failed attempt by PolitiFact to ding Governor DeSantis for exaggerating his success against the virus: “Only about half of the 10 most stringently regulated states saw rates of cases, deaths and hospitalizations that were twice as high as Florida’s—DeSantis’ benchmark.” This is a gobbledygook argument, but I think the point they are making is that only five out of the ten states they looked at were twice as bad as Florida. Take that, Ron! But the “fact- check” does admit that “Broadly speaking, we found that Florida’s record, at least as of the beginning of December, compared favorably with most states across the country, including those with tighter restrictions.”
Florida has the largest population of over-sixty-five-year-olds in the United States other than California; they have about a million more seniors than does New York. Seniors make up over 20 percent of Florida’s population, compared to New York’s 16 percent. Yet, as of March 2021, according to
New York Times data, Florida’s death rate is less than two- thirds of New York State’s and nearly identical to New York City’s. Also as of March 2021, 247 New Yorkers and 355 New York City residents out of every 100,000 died of COVID-19, respectively, compared to 149 out of every 100,000 Floridians.
Ultimately, the state that never had a statewide mask mandate fared better and had a “superior” strategy to blue New York, Marlow observes.
Nevertheless, the corporate media did their best to ignore the facts, only being forced to cover the basic news after New York’s Democrat attorney general Letitia James found New York had been “drastically undercounting the COVID- related deaths in the state’s nursing homes,” Marlow writes:
Right around the time the Cuomo bros were playing games on CNN while New York’s elderly died en masse, Florida governor Ron DeSantis was beating expectations. Even left-wing
Politico wrote in May 2020—the sentiment still holds true—“let’s just come out and say it: DeSantis looks more right than those who criticized the Sunshine State’s coronavirus response.” Stunningly, the beltway-centric publication noted that the media was biased against DeSantis, despite the numbers.
All the while, Florida continued to outperform blue states despite its absence of draconian lockdown orders and a sweeping mask mandate.
“DeSantis continues to be vindicated despite the media’s insistence that he had put the entire state in jeopardy,” Marlow adds, offering a barrage of headlines from the establishment media when Disney World in Orlando, Florida, reopened in June 2020. These included: “Disney World set to reopen despite severe out-break unfolding in Florida” from the
Washington Post; “Disney World reopens as coronavirus cases spike in Florida” from CNN; and “Disney World Opens Its Gates, with Virus Numbers Rising” from the New York Times.
Virtually every establishment media outlet took the same angle, promoting the same narrative, positioning DeSantis as making irresponsible and dangerous decisions, writes Marlow:
Few of these outlets doubled back and noted that hysteria over Disney World’s opening was entirely misplaced. Florida cases went down after the reopening and no outbreaks were traced to the theme park. The
New York Times, to their credit, is an exception, though they waited several months to report the good news. They reported in October 2020, “At Disney World, ‘Worst Fears’ About Virus Have Not Come True.”
Officials never connected Disney World to any sort of super spreader events, yet California’s Disneyland remained closed for far longer, reopening at just 25 percent capacity on Friday, April 30 — 293 days after Disney World first reopened.
Despite the continuous stream of opprobrium from the corporate media, DeSantis routinely recognized their bias and disregarded it, continuing to forge a path ahead and lifting major restrictions in September 2020. His actions did not spur any major outbreaks — a fact ignored by the media, which remained dazzled by DeSantis’s blue state counterpart.
“The DeSantis ‘hero’ profiles from the establishment press were non-existent,” Marlow writes, noting that other headlines spoke for themselves, citing a
New York Post piece detailing how New Yorkers were fleeing the state and heading to the free state of Florida.
Now, months later, blue state leaders are just beginning to follow the Florida governor’s lead in reopening their states and forgoing mask mandates, with little to no criticism from the establishment media — the same establishment media that could not get enough of demonizing the Republican governor mere months ago for doing the same.