Ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo
You did it, Andrew Cuomo! Back in March, you were a mere Dunce runner-up, but in this Olympian marathon of idiocy, you’ve managed to ascend to August’s top perch.
We all know no one watches the Oscars anymore… Still, whoever scripted Cuomo’s life, political career, and personal arc deserves at least a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay (it might lose out to the Giuliani musical biopic, though).
It’s Greek… Shakespearean… Pulp fiction… A targeted viral algorithm. Cuomo, your fall is yawningly predictable. How many career politicians or men slinking through the corridors of power, from the Hill to Silicon Valley, have limped astray with their wandering eyes (and loins)? Kennedy. Clinton. Trump. Weiner. Bezos. Gaetz. Spitzer. Gates.
A philandering billionaire or president remains a universal touchstone of Americana and humanity, as inevitable as the hurricane season upon us or Congress perennially accomplishing less than nothing.
These sex scandals are little fires flickering in the black, needing only a salacious breath of oxygen to ravage legacies and break the Internet. And right now, Cuomo is scorched…
A Touching Story
The one anomaly of Cuomo’s black swan dive of disgrace is that he’s single… So, there was no affair to chafe at America’s latent puritanical sensitivities. His crime ultimately was one of staying in the political game too long. Oh, and lack of consent – that’ll get you every time. He’s almost owned up to the (former) idea, claiming generational differences for his hands that know no bounds.
Or the brilliant stupidity of his “Italian Defense” trying to explain away his offenses, with the warped logic that Mediterranean types just love to touch people. It’s not his fault! It’s in his genes… as he’s trying to make his way inside her jeans. “I’m not a sex offender, I’m Italian.”
We’ve all seen this movie before… These decrepit public servants often get sloppy, desperate, delusionally entitled, and empirically gross in the wicked Septembers of their years. But the Cuomos of the world would sooner let go of a skirt than unclutch the intoxicating highs of their power.
Look, Cuomo, we let Nursing Home Gate slide – you knowingly falsified COVID death records and expedited swaths of elderly to their graves. You got away with that. But more is never enough, right, ex-Governor? Until it is.
As it’s happened so often in the past few years, justice took the form of a #metoo chorus of nearly a dozen women (many of them former aides in his office) to break the Albany Bully into untold pieces scattered amongst the Catskills.
But it’s all cumulative, Cuomo… Take the inappropriate touching, mix in the nursing home scandal, and toss in the hypocrisy of your COVID-hero routine. Your resignation is as evident as your penchant for B.S.
But listen, now that you’re out of the Governor’s Mansion, there are scores of bougie assisted living facilities upstate that can accommodate you. And don’t worry – they’re dying to have you.
Now, on to this month’s runner-up…
Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director, a.k.a. Dr. Doom
In a nation that agrees on nearly nothing, one of the few bipartisan sentiments is America’s ongoing eye-roll when it comes to the CDC’s conflicting pandemic messaging for the past year and a half (and sure to persist well into 2022).
The much revered and maligned Patron Saint of COVID, Dr. Fauci, operates in tandem and acts as a liaison for the CDC, but officially works for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (“NIAID”) while seated as the Chief Medical Advisor to the President.
And though Fauci can grate as a pandemic spokesperson with his inconsistency and condescension (draped in a pious mask-shaped halo), there’s usually a relative reasonability to him.
Meanwhile, Rochelle Walensky, newly minted director of the CDC, seems nearly unhinged. My mother, a career nurse anesthetist, put it more politely: “That *&^% seems crazy.”
During a White House press briefing this past spring, Dr. Walensky had this to say: “I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom.”
Walensky, we’re all filled with apocalyptic doom at the moment… The American citizenry is years past fatigued, trodden down, weary – tired masses not huddled together but instead sequestered with digital misinformation and recreational outrage on our screens.
We needn’t have the CDC Director remind us of the psychological horrors of 2021 – instead, a focus on epidemiology and sound advice would be most befitting.
We need a calming voice amid this shitstorm – we don’t also want to have to worry about your mental health along with our own.
Ken Langone, the co-founding billionaire of Home Depot, went on CNBC recently to explain the biggest threat for Americans and their money.
And then there’s her role in the latest federal moratorium on evictions – one with health czar overtones. No matter what argumentative side you take on this issue (landlords’ property rights versus tenants’), Biden urging her to sign this order earlier this month may have been unconstitutional… his own White House officials agree.
And even if it was well-intentioned (keeping people housed during a pandemic), it still speaks to this mutant variant of governance in the COVID age where health officials’ words bleed into public policy – and not always for the better.
The Viral Virus
Another misstep of hers includes a recent CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, where she claimed vaccines don’t prevent transmission.
Wait, what’s that, Rochelle?
The CDC gleaned from Provincetown data that an infected vaccinated person might be capable of transmitting the virus. That’s a hell of a qualifier…
Walensky’s claim flies in the face of logic and her own organization’s research that the vaccine mitigates transmission rates, thereby playing into the hands of the anti-vax crowd and prolonging this pandemic.
Muddied vax messaging is riskier than mixed-up mask messaging (though they feed into each other)…
Vaccine hesitancy exists beyond just MAGA Floridians who refuse to get the shot… The tentativeness also lurks in Black Americans with residual Tuskegee paranoia and in L.A. Lululemon yoga influencers who take their clean-body ethos beyond its limit.
Some undecided Midwesterner perhaps saw that Walensky clip and thought, “Eff it – if it’s not going to help me, then why bother getting the vaccine?”
And this utterance is a meta-indictment for all politicians and public health officials right now. If you’re not going to help us, please leave the room and get the hell out of the way.