A State of Crisis… or Leadership?
“There is no politics here. I have no political agenda, period.” Governor Andrew Cuomo has quickly become the leading face against COVID-19 that our world needs desperately at this moment. He has held weekday press conferences at 11:00 AM, in which his administration has responsibly presented both hope and facts to Americans across the country. Cuomo’s leadership strategy has brought him to a staggering 87% approval rating among New Yorkers, a rare accomplishment in the life of a politician. Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic is arguably the most thought-out and strategic of any state in the country and perhaps exceeding the proficiency of federal leadership against COVID-19.
His career as Governor began in 2011- almost 30 years after his father, Mario Cuomo ended his third term in New York. Mario Cuomo was known for being a down to earth, thoughtful and patient leader. Mario Cuomo’s governing of the state and powerful speeches evidently brought the question of whether or not he could run for president. But Cuomo rejected the idea and instead said that the place he belonged was New York, serving those “[who] had been left out by fate–the homeless, the infirm, the destitute.”
The state of New York alone has more confirmed COVID-19 cases than any country in the world, other than the United States. Data provided by state officials say that cases are expected to have peaked but, while considering this information, Cuomo states that “We did 500,000 tests in a month. That’s great news. Bad news is it’s only a fraction of what you need.” With over 200,000 cases and 10,000 confirmed deaths, New York faces one of the greatest crises in its history.
Despite all the chaos and disorder that has been thrown at him, Cuomo has managed to bring the entire tri-state area together in a “necessary pause” to life in the North East. The Governor has worked with a task force of scientists, doctors, and statisticians to determine that essential business–including health care, food services, and telecommunications–are the only thing that should be causing people to go outside. When asked about reopening the economy, Cuomo responded with the question, “until you have the vaccine, what can we do?” Finding a vaccine, which is not expected for at least 18 months, is what Cuomo calls “the ultimate end.”
Reopening the economy has appeared to become the federal government’s, or at least the President’s, main goal at the moment. But, from Cuomo’s perspective, reopening anything is out of the question until the situation is under control. Trump’s unawareness of the current situation calls into question if his leadership is truly fitted to handle a pandemic of this scale. “I really believe that they’re being unreasonable,” Trump said, sharing his critiques of those states whose governors have initiated lockdowns.
In contrast to Trump’s questionable leadership, Governor Cuomo has held several conferences discussing the meaning of his actions. “It’s not just about everyone who wants the economy running, but everyone who wants to be safe at the same time, that’s what we are working through,” Cuomo stated.
Andrew Cuomo’s guidance, strength, and empathy toward those who need it has caused his approval rate to soar and now ask the question if he is suited for presidency. In a recent Prism poll, 97% of students agreed with Cuomo’s policies on COVID-19 and several students commented that he should replace Joe Biden as the Democratic presidential nominee. His presence as a possible candidate has not only been recognized across New York state, but Cuomo has been recognized nationally as the shining star of hope and leadership many people feel has been lost in these past months.
In light of all the positive press he had been receiving, Cuomo came out to say “I’m not running for president. I’m not running for vice president. I’m not running anywhere.” The governor’s dedication to his job has not gone unnoticed by the general population. The progress he has made on the forefront of this pandemic, his increasing approval rating and commitment to doing the right thing are signs that real leadership is taking place- in a time which we desperately need it.