Governor Andrew Cuomo looks like the proverbial rock in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.
The governor of the US state New York appears with almost unshakable calm and a broad cross, exuding both competence and humanity.
The 62-year-old Democrat is the determined crisis manager many US citizens want – especially given President Donald Trump’s erratic course.
In the meantime, Cuomo is in the eye of the storm: the state he has run since 2011 with the metropolis of the same name has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the USA. Nowhere in the country are there more infected and dead people – and the worst is yet to come.
Cuomo, whose father Mario was New York Governor from 1983 to 1994, quickly took drastic measures during the crisis. He mobilized the National Guard in the New York suburb of New Rochelle, ordered the closure of shops and issued extensive exit restrictions. At the same time, he is fighting for more hospital beds and medical supplies and has more tests than any other US state.
Authority, empathy and humor
His daily press conferences have long since become something like therapy sessions for the concerned population. Cuomo speaks plain language, without spreading panic, exudes authority, but at the same time shows empathy and humor.
The offspring of an Italian immigrant family named an order to protect the elderly after his mother Matilda. Again and again, Cuomo speaks of his daughters when he wants to make it clear how difficult the required social distance is – and how it comes down to human ties right now.
The contrast to Trump, whom many accuse of miserable crisis management and a lack of humanity, is obvious. While the president rumbled in mid-March that he took “no responsibility at all” for failures in coronavirus tests, the governor relied on the opposite message.
“If someone is dissatisfied, wants to blame someone or wants to complain about someone – then he should blame me,” said Cuomo of the strict measures. “I take full responsibility.”
In the Corona crisis, there are always tensions between Cuomo and Trump. In the dispute over the lack of ventilators, the governor called this week to the address of the US federal authorities: “You will choose the 26,000 people who will die.”
Cuomo repeatedly called for more effort from Trump: “The President said it was a war. It’s a war. Then he should act like in a war. ” By and large, however, there is currently a crisis-related truce between the politicians, both of whom come from the New York borough of Queens.
Cuomo is not afraid of any argument. The muscular governor has a reputation for being a “tough guy” who can be aggressive and adamant when trying to assert his interests. The pragmatist has many enemies among the left wing of the Democrats, and there has long been rivalry with the likewise Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Possible presidential candidate
But in the pandemic, many critics have become true fans of the governor, who was praised for his crisis management in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy. Observers such as politics professor Robert Shapiro praise his “presidential stature”, and the hashtag #CuomoForPresident is making the rounds on Twitter.
Cuomo, who was once married to a member of the Kennedy political dynasty, has in the past repeatedly flirted with a presidential candidacy. While he won’t run this year, many are already talking about the next election in 2024.
Cuomo, however, comments soberly on his current popularity: “I don’t do anything differently than I did before. It’s just a bigger audience. And the times are more intense. “
Published: 03/27/2020, 2:32 pm