Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers
There were a few more lies we lived with in our Kingdom of Untruth.
The Satanic Andrew Cuomo Deification
Over last summer and early fall 2020, Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo reached mythic media proportions. His ingratitude was enshrined as New York, “get-used-to-it, buddy” chutzpah. Yes, he momentarily feigned gratitude that Trump had listened to his hysterical daily rantings about the streets littered with corpses unless, right now, immediately, Trump sent a hospital ship, a tent-city hospital, thousands of ventilators, and protective equipment.
And Cuomo got them all. Yet mysteriously he did not seem to use them much. As the 2020-election campaign geared up and his name was dropped as a key cabinet secretary or even VP, Cuomo dropped his daily attacks on the hapless Mayor De Blasio and turned on his former benefactor Trump. Or as NPR put it, “The regular briefings helped buoy his approval ratings in New York and make him perhaps the country’s most recognizable Democratic leader in the struggle against COVID-19.”
Cuomo seemed to ride a perfect summer of better luck. No one yet really knew about his Dr. Death rerouting of infectious Covid-19 patients into the Petri-dish confines of long-term health care facilities, where thousands of weak and elderly were simply wiped out by his executive order.
And the first coronavirus spike was seemingly over. Summer was passing with fewer cases, and Cuomo was yakking it up with his professional journalist brother Chris on CNN as they misled the country about their respective lack of ethics.
Hollywood was enthralled with the Dr. Robert DeNiro-like tough-guy “acerbic” governor who did not suffer fools gladly. So they crowned him with an Emmy for his “masterful” press, ego-driven, narcissistic briefings and news conferences. Or in the words of the Emmy Awards CEO:
“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.”
The canonized multitalented Cuomo was not only a politician who out-Trumped Trump, spat out De Blasio, and mesmerized Hollywood with live-play performances. He was also an author, a memoirist, a diarist, an analyst of leadership no less.
So in the midst of the death and destruction of lives, Cuomo landed a $5-million book contract for an adding-insult-to-injury memoir American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic—a book lacking the advice, “Don’t send the infected into the uninfected rooms of elderly rest home patients,” or “How to coax an aide into playing strip poker with you.”
So how does a governor find time to rewrite a memoir in the middle of a plague? (Reader, you interject here to warn me: “Come on man, Cuomo writing a memoir on the job means less people died had he had more time to exercise leadership.”)
The better quandary is how does a mediocre governor find time to continue years of media-exempt sexual harassments, as a dozen women all seem to appear out of nowhere with “he touched me,” “he propositioned me,” “he embarrassed me” like revelations. At the time of his summer strutting, the media bragged on Cuomo’s appeal to women, boasting that there were now online hashtags, like #cuomosexual and #cuomocrush.
For the deplorables, Cuomo was a callous blowhard, without talent other than mimicking a tough-guy New York patois, delivered to Pajama Boy and Life of Julia know-nothing journalists.
The Great Dr. Fauci Icon Hoax
Do we now even recall that octogenarian Anthony Fauci early on in the pandemic swore to us, from his long-held perch at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, that the Wuhan virus posed no real threat. Only the naïve would wear masks that, in truth, were mostly worthless. The World Health Organization was to be listened to, as it assured us that humans were unlikely to pass the virus on from its “bat” origins. Likewise, Fauci himself insisted that the Chinese were doing their very best at being transparent, while rallying global efforts to squelch the wet-market, break-out virus?
A Wuhan level-4 virology origin? Nuts, Fauci all but said.
Masks? Ugh, why not wear two, given their sudden life-saving efficacy?
Herd immunity? Noble lies of 60, 70—or was it 90?—percent herd immunity was needed to stop the virus? The previously infected with COVID-19? There was no evidence of sustained immunity: so line up you previously sick, and get vaxxed asap, even though existing antibodies seemed to react badly with vaccinations.
Racism? Yep, Fauci attested that racial bias explained the nation’s uneven and poor reaction to the virus (as White House advisor, did he oversee, then, such racism, did he correct it?).
Operation warp speed? Don’t believe Trump: we won’t likely see a vaccination until mid-2021.
Cheap, make-shift protocols that have efficacy in early stages of the virus—whether hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin? All Trump hogwash. Trust instead the pharmaceutical companies to deliver soon a multi-thousand-dollar brand antiviral injection.
How about those rumors of gain-of-function research ties to Fauci’s approval of an EcoHealth Alliance grant to pay Chinese scientists to do what is banned in the US? Lies, lies, and more damnable lies.
Dr. Scott Atlas? Just a public health expert, but not a beltway immunologist.
So how could Atlas be right that focusing on the aged and vulnerable, wearing masks mostly only in crowded indoors as the schools and the economy opened, would in the long run save us from terrible economic damage, thousands of lives lost from delayed procedures, screenings and surgeries, spousal and familial abuse, substance abuse, and the general mayhem and insanity from a year of quarantine, recession, and panic that we now witness?
How could Atlas be right that a Texas or Florida would eventually have no more deaths per million than a New York or California or New Jersey, but a far more vibrant economic recovery and kids in schools far less damaged?
Fauci-mania was a 14-month, media- and leftwing-generated fantasyland, predicated on his yarn as the scientific truth-teller to the faith-healer Trump.
The final irony?
On most of the key issues of the pandemic, Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip, gut instinct was right and Fauci linguistic gymnastics were wrong: the virus likely did come from a leaked gain-of-function experiment in the Wuhan lab.
Vaccinations would appear in 2020.
There is probably some value in early use of inexpensive and mostly safe hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin.
Incentivizing three or four different private companies would be a superior vaccination route than relying on a state-sponsored EU, Chinese, or Russian approach.
And following an Atlas on graduated openings proved smarter than the Fauci endless quarantining and mask-wearing.
A modest predication. When this entire tragedy is fully researched, documented, and published, we are going to learn astounding, radically jarring and depressing things. And neither will Dr. Fauci be again Dr. Fauci, the wizard of the White House, nor will the Chinese be our “partners” in sleuthing out the COVID-19 origins.