Why We F*cking Love Andrew Cuomo

by Wendy Wisner
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference.
Drew Angerer/Getty

Like most of the country right now, I have been watching the coronavirus pandemic unfold with horror, fear, and so many WTFs. I am worried for my kids, my family, my community, my country, and the world.

As the pandemic first took hold in our country, I often found myself looking out for leadership. It’s not like any of us have ever lived through a pandemic before. What on earth do we do to keep ourselves safe, to make sure people infected with the virus receive the medical care they need, and that folks who are hurting financially receive economic relief?

What’s the plan here? How do we get through this?

Let’s just say that our current commander-in-chief wasn’t exactly soothing any of my fears (understatement of the year). Watching the president stand in front of the nation and patently lie about the number of COVID-19 cases and tests available—not to mention his hateful rhetoric aimed at people of Asian-American descent—was just not something I couldn’t stomach, especially in a time of crisis.

So a few weeks ago, I started tuning into the daily news briefings by the governor of my state, Andrew Cuomo. I began listening one Saturday morning as I was cleaning my house – and I was hooked. Cuomo was exactly the leader I’d been looking for … that we’d all been looking for.

I’ve been listening to his news conferences on the daily, and I follow his Twitter too. I swear, I am basically head-over-heels in love with this guy (just ask my husband).

Especially as the crisis has reached a fever pitch in New York City and the surrounding areas, I look to Cuomo to present clear and honest facts…

…to help me understand what the disease trajectory might look like, and what plans are in place to tackle it.

Cuomo keeps me grounded and helps me remember what is most important.

He reminds me that we are all in this together and we are stronger than we know.

Cuomo is also the moral compass we are all looking for right now. He is not afraid to call the president on his bullshit, and make sure the world knows that no life is expendable. Not now, not ever.

And of course, he all does it with his no-nonsense New York style. Sometimes I feel like he’s about to walk off camera, cook up a big pot of spaghetti and meatballs, and invite every New Yorker over for dinner (or, you know, send it out for delivery).

Clearly, I’m not the only one who feels this way about Cuomo right now. I have many friends from out of state who are sharing his news briefings, basically saying that he’s their president right now.

Cuomo is the type of leader we have been aching for since 2016, and that we need more than ever, as our nation enters the biggest crisis it has faced in decades.

Look, no one’s perfect. I’m sure Cuomo has made some mistakes along the way as he’s handled this crisis. I’m sure he’ll make some down the road, too. But you can tell each day that he is as brokenhearted as all of us are about this horrifying pandemic, and that he is doing his best to make informed decisions about how to handle this unprecedented crisis.

He is level-headed, respectful – oh, and he believes in science, too.

There are going to be many more weeks – and months – ahead of scary shit, of devastating loss, of stress and fear. New York in particular is taking a serious hit with this virus, and it is going to get worse before it gets better.

But it gives me a whole lot of comfort knowing that the crisis is being handled by a leader who has integrity, is a mensch, and is someone we can trust to do the right thing. Thank you, Andrew Cuomo!