Skip to main content

COVID narrative goes off script for Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Written By | Feb 16, 2021
Script, COVID, Cuomo, New York

WASHINGTON. Academy Award-winning actor Sir Michael Caine once said, “It’s much harder to act in a bad film than in a good one. A terrible script makes for very difficult acting.”

But that doesn’t seem to be the case for politicians.

All the world’s a stage

2020 TV Founders Award Winner, Governor Cuomo, presented by Bruce Paisner. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences screen capture.

You may recall that in 2020 the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would receive an Emmy Award for his daily televised COVID-19 briefings, saying he…

“… effectively created television shows, with characters, plot lines, and stories of success and failure. People around the world tuned in to find out what was going on, and New York tough became a symbol of the determination to fight back.”

In his taped acceptance of the Emmy, Gov. Cuomo thanked the academy whose efforts, he said, “brought smiles and hope and relief for so many people during these difficult days.”

Read more from Steve Lopez

Death of a narrative

But real life doesn’t always read like a well-plotted script. And not all those who fought back against the Chinese flu proved victorious in combatting the disease. Especially New York State’s elderly citizens in nursing homes. They were hardest hit by the disease, comprising the majority of COVID-related deaths – nearly 50 percent according to the New York State Health Department.

Script, COVID, Cuomo, New York

New Yorkers protest the deaths of loved ones due to the government COVID response. CBS News screen capture.

According to a REPORT released in late January by New York Attorney General Letitia James, more nursing home deaths resulted “from COVID-19 than DOH [Department of Health] data reflected.”

Worse still…

“Government guidance requiring the admission of COVID-19 patients into nursing homes may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities and may have obscured the data available to assess that risk.”

This information is no surprise to those who read alternative news sites than, say, The New York Times. Just prior to AG James’ report, the Times described Gov. Cuomo as “the politician of the moment” for his “authoritative voice in the crisis.”

According to the Times:

“Mr. Cuomo was once considered a bit player on the national stage, an abrasive presence who made his share of enemies among his Democratic Party peers. He was too much of a pragmatist for his party’s progressive wing, too self-focused for party leaders and too brusque for nearly everyone.
“But now, he is emerging as the party’s most prominent voice in a time of crisis.”

The reality, though, strayed from the script.

Script, COVID, Cuomo, New York

New York Councilman Robert Holden. NYC Votes and NYC Campaign Finance Board screen capture.

Everyone’s a critic

In a letter to the television academy sent a few days ago, New York City Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens) wrote:

“We now know that his [Gov. Cuomo’s] TV appearances and clout were used to mislead the public regarding how their loved ones died. Please rescind the Governor’s award immediately, as his actions have been an insult to every New Yorker who lost a loved one during this terrible pandemic.”

The silence from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is deafening. Perhaps they’re waiting for an award-winning scriptwriter to craft a response to the massive hole reality has punched through the overwrought media/Hollywood narratives.

Like actor Michael Caine, Gov. Cuomo has discovered that “a terrible script makes for very difficult acting.”


Top Image: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York.

Steven M. Lopez

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area and now resides in South Florida.