New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was holding one of his Emmy-winning press conferences today to try and encourage “the youthful and the doubtful” to get the COVID-19 vaccination. Part of his schtick was to talk about becoming a COVID-19 “long-hauler.” He admittedly has no idea what that is, exactly. That’s not surprising, since researchers are reporting everything from severe lung damage and persistent chest pain to foot pain and postnasal drip as COVID-19 long-hauler symptoms. Doubtless, some are serious, and others could be coincidences. All are still under investigation.
However, Cuomo’s argument that followed was gobsmackingly bold, considering his record on management of the pandemic. The video is short, and watching to the end to see anchor Harris Faulkner’s reaction is priceless:
Yes, Cuomo, who put COVID-19 positive patients back in their long-term care facilities, is warning young New Yorkers about killing their grandmothers if they don’t get vaccinated. The same Cuomo ignored the CDC and refused requests from nursing home directors to send their COVID-19 positive residents to one of the temporary hospitals provided by the Trump administration. And the same arrogant governor who then tried to cover up his mismanagement by undercounting nursing home deaths by a third. This man is using grandma as leverage.
There is absolutely no data released from the CDC that indicates that this would be a likely outcome if your grandmother is fully vaccinated. Cuomo’s graph does not show how many New Yorkers have received at least one dose, but 70% of those aged 65-74 are fully vaccinated, and 64.1% of those over 75 are. Breakthrough infections in the fully vaccinated population are lower than Cuomo’s nursing home deaths. Deaths after complete vaccination aren’t even 1% of the deaths that occurred in New Your’s nursing homes.
Two days ago, New York reported the lowest rate of positive tests since last November. With one-third of residents fully vaccinated and some number of recovered patients with immunity, this is excellent news for one of the hardest-hit states in the country. Maybe Cuomo should just lay off for a bit and concentrate on increasing vaccination rates for his most vulnerable residents. According to the CDC, COVID-19 testing picks up about 1 in 4.3 infections. In that case, Cuomo has well over 8 million residents walking around with some natural protection, plus another 6.5 million who have been completely vaccinated. The state is getting close to three-quarters of the population to act as a brake on infection.
But he should never, ever again, use the death of anyone’s grandmother as leverage to convince people of anything. A little self-awareness would go a long, long way.