American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic was published last October when then, like now, the pandemic had not ended. Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, was the only politician in America who was brazen enough to declare victory over a virus that was killing people daily. Like Donald Trump, another bully from Queens, he seemed to be born with whatever gene makes a human unable to feel shame.
Five months later, the virus is still killing people daily and Cuomo has certainly learned some lessons. You can’t make repeated passes at women, including those who work for you, and assume no one will ever challenge your behavior. You can’t try to hide the true coronavirus death toll in nursing homes and assume the FBI won’t investigate you. You can’t run a state government like a small-time junta, rewarding loyalty over competence, deputizing political operatives with no public health experience to oversee a rollout of life-saving vaccines.
But here we are. New York will soon surpass 50,000 coronavirus deaths. Cuomo’s state currently has the second-highest death toll and death rate in America. Once again, coronavirus cases are on the rise here as Cuomo forges ahead with an aggressive reopening, with each new announcement seemingly timed to counter the latest sexual harassment allegation lodged against him.