This is an article I felt the need to write. I have discussed this with many people and the consensus is Gov. Andrew Cuomo has caused and created much havoc in our state. So many people’s lives and livelihoods have been touched by his actions. It is believed that he started off trying to keep our state safe, but it seemed after a while, the power he was given went to his head and he became insensitive and his actins were that of a tyrant. When you look back at his actions from the start when he was pulling tractor trailers off the New York State Thruway due to high winds, after that, you would see him talking about the weather as though he was an authoritarian on the subject. When did he become a meteorologist? When COVID began hitting hard, he flip-flopped between “The mask won’t prevent the spread,” and “Wear the mask. It’s a simple way to stop the spread.” Then, it went to him pleading with President Donald Trump for additional support to “protect” New Yorkers. After this, it was him asking (actually, an executive order) all hospital facilities that had any PPE not being used to “give” them to New York City because he needed to keep New York City people safe. All the people dying and refrigerator trucks to keep the bodies, what horrors for those families.
OK, on to the nursing homes. There were an extreme number of families’ loved ones dying in nursing homes. What did the ever-growing-in-power Cuomo have to say regarding this? Here is a quote from Cuomo, “People die, whether it’s in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, people die. It’s a fact.” I would be willing to bet Cuomo did not have any loved ones in a nursing home facility!
OK, on to the correctional facilities. I’m just touching on some of the “real” issues as there are many more than these. First, prisoners were moved around from New York City and the rest of the state. Some, who had symptoms of COVID, were among the ones moved. Next, the ever-growing-more-powerful Cuomo started closing correctional facilities to supposedly save the state some money. Oh, and let’s not forget, as I’m sure the victims of his “bail reform” won’t soon forget, what a conundrum this caused in numerous areas. The list goes on and on, but let’s take a look at just some of the repercussions these few “orders” produced.
First — ordering tractor trailers to stay off the New York State Thruway, many of these trucks weigh in excess of 180,000 pounds, or 90 tons. Many of these trucks are carrying fuel to our local gas stations, where we fuel up our vehicles to go to work, get groceries, etc. These truckers are ordered by their employers to “deliver regardless,” find an alternative route. Many of these alternative routes are not fit for vehicles of this weight, so what do you think the outcome of trucks these sizes using these “alternative” routes is? And, lest we forget, there is the question of “When did Cuomo become a meteorologist?”
Second — mask vs. no mask. Does this really even need to be discussed? Probably not! Pleading for additional PPE? Hmmm, wasn’t it discovered Cuomo had numerous ventilators “stashed?” Trump delivered a ship in provision of additional rooms for COVID-affected people. Now, it has been brought to the public’s attention he only used 20 percent of the space available. Keep this in mind when we discuss the next point.
Third (and this is in no way third in thinking of the horrors of all his actions) — nursing homes and the quote “...people die ...” Is anyone aware of the fact another of his “executive powers” had nursing homes make room for people recovering from COVID? Yes, this is a fact, as someone I am close with is a charge nurse of a facility and was flabbergasted when told to “clear a wing for COVID-stricken persons.” Also, regarding the “order” “No visitation in nursing homes.” This “order” was to keep whom safe? So, does there need to be more of an investigation into “nursing home capers of Cuomo?” Well, I’m only one person, but believe many more would agree with me.
Fourth — the closure of the correctional facilities. Are there really fewer people causing their own actions to warrant the need for facilities as such? Could the numbers be down due to the “early release” program he conducted? Has there been any thought of how these correctional officers (and their families), who put their lives on the line every day, are affected? Has thought of what this does to the economy of these rural towns and counties truly been considered? Some of these correctional officers will now have to drive over two hours one way, sometimes longer, to get to work. Some will be forced to obtain rooming options and some will need to move their families, uprooting their children and taking away any stability in these unstable times. In many ways, this is destroying family. In regard to communities, the correctional facilities were the backbone of economic support, as many of these communities depend on money generated by these facilities (a great article regarding the closure and its impact was in The Daily News on Dec. 29, 2020). Also, many correctional facilities were infected with COVID after the “moving” of prisoners at Cuomo’s direction. Another fact: visitation continued at correctional facilities well after nursing home visitation stopped.
Fifth — bail reform, in general people who may not have been able to make bail now get a “free pass,” as they are given an appearance ticket with a court date.
Hang on a minute, my gut is hurting from laughing!
So, you did a crime, were given a ticket to show up in court and went on your merry way. Cuomo, do you know how many crimes are really being committed? Do you know how many of these slapped-on-the-hand bandits went back out to commit more crimes? Do you understand the terror and post-traumatic stress caused by these wrist-slapped bandits did to innocent, law-abiding citizens due to your bail reform?
Oh, yes, and now the inappropriate interactions between Cuomo and his young interns — does he have any morals at all?
Speaking of this, did someone forget about the “Me Too” movement? Yep, speak up and be heard if your person was violated. Well, I think these young women need to be heard!
In closing, I know there are other issues that have or should have been discussed. Those aforementioned are just a few of the injustices. It is my hope this article helps make people aware, and others to know, your pain is felt and saddens many. It is my hope (and I pray) that these issues are addressed and dealt with accordingly.
Thank you to those who have provided the knowledge and courage for this article to be written and published.
Barbara Falker-Johnson is an addiction therapist at Hope Haven Center in Batavia.