Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) seemingly blamed victims of COVID-19 for their illness, stating, “If you socially distanced and you wore a mask and you were smart, none of this would be a problem. It’s all self-imposed. It’s all self-imposed. If you didn’t eat the cheesecake, you wouldn’t have a weight problem.”
“The good news is micro clusters work. Following the rules work,” said the Democratic governor. “Broome County was a yellow and an orange. Broome County was a yellow zone. It’s now under control and is back to normal. Orange County was a yellow zone. A little confusing. It is now back to normal. Brooklyn was an orange zone, is being dropped to a yellow zone. So, the restrictions work and just to make it very simple, if you socially distanced and you wore a mask and you were smart, none of this would be a problem. It’s all self-imposed. It’s all self-imposed. If you didn’t eat the cheesecake, you wouldn’t have a weight problem. It’s all self-imposed.”
The comment was met with blowback, including from HotAir‘s Allahpundit, who slammed Cuomo for being “unbelievably tone deaf on a day when an egregious hardship is being imposed — again — on New Yorkers with little justification,” a reference to New York City shutting down schools again based on a far lower positivity threshold than in other states.
Prior to Cuomo’s “cheesecake” remarks, he bragged, “New Yorkers have done a phenomenal job and New Yorkers deserve credit because they have done a phenomenal job. And I know you guys don’t write the right context. That’s where we are 2.8, which is great news relative to everyone else. Look at the highest percentages. South Dakota, 56. Iowa, 51. Kansas, 43.”
Amid the skyrocketing popularity of South Dakota’s GOP governor Kristi Noem, an ardent foe of lockdowns, Cuomo continued his attack on South Dakota, snapping, “That’s why you get the big bucks at the New York Times. 46%. We’re at 2.8. By the way, where were we? 46. But now look at South Dakota and Iowa. You’re at 56? You’re at 51?” He mocked, “You’re higher than New York was when it was ambushed eight months ago. How can that possibly be?”
Later in the press conference, a reporter informed Cuomo that his figures were incorrect, saying, “Johns Hopkins has said that those numbers aren’t completely up to date and may differ from the states levels because they’re still trying to prep this formula.” When Cuomo asked, “What does that mean,” the reporter continued, “Those numbers don’t match the positivity ratings in states like South Dakota, for example. They do not have 56% of tests coming up positive.”
As Fox News has noted, over 6,200 elderly residents may have died from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes, according to state health department statistics. On March 25, the New York Department of Health issued an advisory that stated nursing homes had to accept residents returning from hospitals whether or not they had a diagnosis of COVID-19.
In September, Noem issued a tweet showing herself shooting, along with a succinct comment: “This is how we do social distancing in South Dakota.”
This is how we do social distancing in South Dakota. pic.twitter.com/AjegUsKHhv
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) September 23, 2020
In April, Noem appeared on the “The Ingraham Angle,” where she stated: “I had a real honest conversation with the people in our state. I told them I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of our state, of South Dakota. I took an oath when I was in Congress obviously to uphold the Constitution of the United States. I believe in our freedoms and liberties. What I’ve seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security and they don’t have to do that.”
“If a leader will take too much power in a time of crisis, that is how we lose our country,” said Noem. “So, I felt like I’ve had to use every single opportunity to talk about why we slow things down, we make decisions based on science and facts, and make sure that we are not letting emotion grab ahold of the situation.”