New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo mused Saturday that “beaches in Florida” caused New York youth not to wear masks while protesting police brutality.
“It’s difficult with young people,” Cuomo said. “I think the way they first heard about this virus was that they were immune. There’s a video clip during the Florida Spring Break when you had all those young people on the beach in Florida and there’s a clip of a young gentleman saying … it’s not going to stop me from partying.”
The comments came during the Governor’s Saturday briefing, and Cuomo did not mention New York’s much higher rate of contagion than Florida, which observers attribute to subway cars and other close-quarters incubators of community spread.
This continues what has been jousting between New York and Florida politicians for months, as conservatives nationwide have contended that, contrary to the predictions of Northeastern media, Gov. Ron DeSantis (who ordered travelers from the Empire State to quarantine upon arrival) got the COVID-19 response more right than Cuomo did.
For his part, the Governor has avoided direct sparring with Cuomo, though he has repeatedly said risks were tied to New York City travel into Palm Beach and Broward and Miami-Dade.
In the friendliest of all possible hagiographies in National Review, an unattributed quote from a “Florida health official” has done the dirty work.
“I don’t want to cast aspersions on others, but it is incredible to me, it’s shocking that Governor Cuomo [and others] are able to kind of just avoid real questions about their policies early on to actually send individuals into the nursing home, which is completely counter to the real data.”
DeSantis has noted that he decided early on to sequester nursing homes from visitation, a controversial policy at the time, but one in retrospect less controversial than Cuomo’s decision to send COVID-19 patients back to nursing homes.
Cuomo has been more likely to tangle with DeSantis’ predecessor, Rick Scott. The two have been using each other as foils in recent weeks.
Cuomo said Scott was “playing the American people” by saying New York took more than it gave to the federal government. Scott says Cuomo has been begging for a “bailout.”