There's sanctimonious, self-serving preening that offends the sensibilities of average American citizens and then there's the latest obnoxious hectoring from New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo.
At his daily coronavirus briefing Tuesday, Cuomo addressed increasing pressure to resume some level of commerce and normalcy in America.
"How much is a human life worth?" Cuomo asked the fawning press and the ever-present television lens. "That's the real discussion that no one is admitting openly or freely. But we should."
The question is a false and manipulative piece of political rhetoric meant to appeal to emotions and feelings, not rational thought. But, such hyperbole is the coin of the realm for Democratic politicians these days.
How this man gets away with preaching to the rest of how much he cherishes human life is a mystery. "Mr. How Much Is A Human Life Worth" celebrated legalizing the medical killing of a baby up to the moment of her delivery from her mother's womb by igniting the One World Trade Center pink light, the same color used to celebrate the birth of that same baby girl.
"The faster we reopen, the lower the economic cost — but the higher the human cost, because the more lives lost," he said. "That, my friends, is the decision we are really making."
Spare me, governor. These are decisions leaders make every single day.
In New York State, the maximum speed limit on state highways is 55 miles per hour. However, science dictates that many lives would be saved if the governor reduced those speeds to 30 miles per hour. I mean, that's just scientific fact. So, why doesn't he do that?
As Cuomo constantly screeches about how his decisions are governed by science and not politics, shouldn't he explain why he ignores the science of lowering speed limits to save lives?
But, beyond that, these are decisions we all make every day for ourselves and our children. Letting your child play soccer or ride a bike or go swimming puts them at risk of injury or even death. Does that possibility prevent us from allowing our children to play?
The false choice laid out by Cuomo in such calculated histrionics is also false and manipulative because science proves that the drastic and devastating economic paralysis brought on by government mandate will inevitably lead to terrible health repercussions, including thousands of deaths.
As I noted in a previous column, an exhaustive study from Lancet showed well over 500,000 excess cancer deaths worldwide as a result of the 2008 economic crisis, in addition to more than 10,000 "economic suicides" at that time. Those lives are just as precious and the deaths just as tragic as a death resulting from the coronavirus. Why is Governor Cuomo allowing those deaths to occur? Why is a COVID-19 death more significant than the economic hardship-related deaths he and his policies are causing?
In reality, Cuomo's politically motivated lecture (complete with PowerPoint slides demanding we all put aside partisanship and come together as a nation) may have been an elaborately staged distraction from the real news out of New York Tuesday.
Perhaps Cuomo pounded the table and preyed upon the emotions of reporters and cable news anchors to distract from the story they should have been focusing on.
The Associated Press reported more than 1,700 "previously undisclosed" deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities in New York on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure "previously undisclosed" is a good euphemism for "hid from the public."
Every death at a New York nursing home brings further scrutiny to Cuomo's horrific policy of forcing nursing homes to admit patients who had tested positive for the coronavirus. The number of deaths in nursing homes has now reached over 4,800, and the virus continues to spread thanks, in part, to Cuomo's catastrophic policy.
While Cuomo lectures all of us who want to safely and sanely get back to work while following reasonable protocols to keep the virus from spreading, perhaps some enterprising reporter could ask him whether he ever asked himself if each of those 4,800 nursing home lives he lost had worth.
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