Bennett Raglin/Getty Pictures
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is on the focal point because the state and New York Metropolis have grow to be the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak within the U.S.
And longtime observers say Cuomo’s pure strengths: decisiveness, taking cost, listening to the consultants and sticking to the information — are enjoying nicely in a public well being disaster.
“He is often called a hard-charging, take-no-prisoners sort of man,” says USA As we speak community reporter Jon Campbell, who’s lined politics in Albany for practically a decade.
“He likes being in cost. He has no qualms about telling individuals what to do and saying what he thinks must be executed.”
Followers of New York politics say Cuomo’s fame for micromanaging and being controling and “tough across the edges” has typically been seen as a damaging previously — however in a second of disaster, he is gained accolades even from some critics for taking daring motion.
Born in 1957, Cuomo is the second of 5 kids of Mario Cuomo, the three-term governor of New York from 1983 to 1994.
“He is very a lot his father’s son. He bought his begin in politics operating loads of the campaigns for his father,” says Bob Liff, a former reporter in New York who’s now a Democratic political marketing consultant.
Within the mid-1980s, after regulation faculty in Albany, Cuomo labored as a lawyer earlier than founding a nonprofit group to assist construct housing for the homeless. In 1991, he turned head of the New York Metropolis Fee on the Homeless.
That led him to Washington, D.C., the place in 1993 he started working on the Division of Housing and City Improvement as an assistant secretary.
He rose to nationwide prominence when he turned the secretary of HUD within the Clinton administration in 1997, the place he labored till 2001.
However Cuomo nonetheless had his eye on New York. He ran for governor in 2002 however did not win the Democratic nomination after remarking that the governor on the time, George Pataki, “held the chief’s coat” — that chief being New York Metropolis Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Cuomo turned a “pariah,” because the New York Each day Information described it. Not lengthy after that he went by way of a separation from his spouse that turned fodder for tabloids in 2003.
Joe Rogate/Getty Pictures
Cuomo’s path again to energy got here in 2006, when he gained his first statewide election, turning into the legal professional normal of New York state.
4 years later he gained election as governor, and was reelected in 2014 and 2018. Throughout his time in workplace, he has trumpeted the passage of measures to legalize same-sex marriage and lift the minimal wage to $15 an hour.
He confronted scandal in 2018, when longtime aide Joseph Percoco was discovered responsible and sentenced to jail on federal corruption costs. Cuomo was not personally accused of wrongdoing, and Campbell says the scandal “by no means actually caught to the governor.”
For Cuomo, the coronavirus pandemic now presents an entire new sort of problem.
“That is the largest problem since 1918,” Liff says. Two of New York’s biggest disasters, Sept. 11 and Superstorm Sandy, “had been discrete occasions. We knew we’d come out the opposite facet.” With this, he says, nobody is aware of “when it’s going to be or what it’s going to appear like.”
Cuomo has been giving every day press briefings as coronavirus instances within the state and particularly New York Metropolis quickly rise. He introduced a stay-at-home order on Friday. On Saturday he stated the state was sending 1 million N95 masks to New York Metropolis. On Sunday he stated he accepted 4 websites for the Military Corps of Engineers to construct short-term hospitals.
On Monday he ordered hospitals to extend their capability by a minimum of 50% — whilst he introduced the state’s coronavirus instances had topped 20,000.
The briefings and his efficiency are “getting rave critiques,” in keeping with Campbell. “Each from individuals inside his celebration, [and] even Republicans.”
“I have been fairly impressed with how he is handled attempting to convey correct data to not simply the individuals of New York state however particularly the individuals in New York Metropolis,” says Christina Greer, an affiliate professor of political science at Fordham College.
It is a distinction to President Trump, who has given messages which have differed from these of well being officers and made false claims through the White Home’s every day press briefings.
“That is the factor that has made so a lot of [Cuomo’s] critics fairly impressed,” Greer says.
“He is been accused of being a bully; he is been accused of being controlling; he is been accused of being self-serving. Nevertheless it appears as if all of these character and character traits are on the backburner proper now. As a result of it appears his number-1 precedence is to guarantee that New Yorkers are protected.”