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Good to Know We’re Still Choosing Death

New York's Governor has crunched the numbers and decided we can all stand to see a bit more death in the name of a nice meal indoors.

Andrew Cuomo at a news briefing on January 29.
Andrew Cuomo at a news briefing on January 29.
YouTube/ NBC News

Andrew Cuomo is the governor of New York, one of the hardest-hit states in the coronavirus pandemic. For serving in this role he has been showered with many awards, such as: an Emmy, a book deal, and the promise of future political prospects.

This sucks, because Andrew Cuomo is an absolute fraud with blood on his hands.

Here he is today:

This is a painful subject. Throughout the pandemic I’ve become somewhat close with the owner of the Italian place across the street from my apartment, a young guy who finished construction on his new space just as the entire world shut down. He majored in music in school and his place is set up to have a little stage where all of his friends from his music program were supposed to come play. He’s staying afloat, probably because he expected to take a loss in the first few years anyway, but he knows that any scrap of indoor dining is going to make those margins just a bit better.

The problem is it is also going to kill people. How many? I’m not entirely sure. This is from an article in the New York Times last week:

“There are people who are going to want to relax the controls we have in place,” Dr. Shaman said. “If we start thinking, ‘We’ve got a vaccine, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, we can stop in a couple of months’ — that’s way too soon.”

The coming months are critical in the race to reduce new infections and deaths, since there will ultimately be fewer people for the virus to infect as the pandemic drags on.

Lifting restrictions in early February, after most health care workers and nursing home residents are set to be vaccinated, would still mean far more infections in the long run than keeping restrictions in place until mid-March, for example.

That article also included a few charts and graphs, which I won’t repost here because of copyrights, but one of them indicated that if we were to ditch social distancing, masking, and other prevention measures in February it could cause 29 million more infections even as the vaccine goes round.

Obviously, Andrew Cuomo allowing people to have little Valentines’ dates indoors is not going to be solely responsible for double-digit millions of COVID cases, but the trend is there. (At the same briefing, Cuomo also said that people could get engaged in February and then have a 150 person wedding with rapid testing as early as March, when venues will open at half-capacity, which seems just completely insane). This is what we’re doing.

Cuomo has crunched the numbers and done the math and decided that New York’s restaurants at 25% capacity will cause the city an acceptable amount of deaths given the economic stimulus it will provide to the restaurants involved. (This, in turn, will be cheaper than directly giving money to subsidize those restaurants so they can remain in business doing take-out and delivery only). He is having his cake and eating it indoors too, and the only price that he will pay is that some more of his constituents will die. Restaurant workers, for instance, are second to last in the state’s tiered vaccine rollout plan.

The good news is that people are slowly catching on. Continued reporting on just how bad and shortsighted Cuomo was throughout all this is slowly convincing even the absolute dumbest of pundits in the mainstream media that maybe this guy isn’t a Genius Leader after all. I mean, Chris Cillizza has even figured out that something is up with the dude.

We have known how to stop this thing all along. You need to force people to stay inside their homes for weeks on end and you need to pay them to do so, while also ensuring that when they leave their homes they will still have their jobs and their business will not have crumbled. This takes a lot of money, which we have. The ways of getting through the pandemic are very simple: either you spend a lot of money, or you spend a lot of lives and maybe slightly less money. Andrew Cuomo, for his part, is continuing to write the book on the latter.