It should come as no surprise that New York’s blustering, bloviating blowhard Mayor Bill de Blasio is undertaking a campaign to totally and disgustingly politicize the Coronavirus epidemic that is centered in his town.
The Big Apple bigshot is making the rounds of the media outlets via his new television set – in which he sits at a table flanked by flags of the United States and the City of New York. It has the disturbing look of a cheap setting for a movie with a petty dictator address the people – and de Blasio, himself, completes the image.
From his location, he complains about everything associated with the outbreak. He notes that his town – the largest city in America – has been hit the hardest. More almost one-half of all the cases of Coronavirus in the United States are in his jurisdiction. Ponder that. One city and almost half the cases.
He complains about a lack of just about everything. There are not enough hospital beds. There are not enough ventilators. There are not enough masks, gloves and other protective gear. He claims that businesses are ready to produce needed items, but no one has placed the orders. No one has given the go-ahead. According to de Blasio, we are in this situation because Washington failed to anticipate such an event and to be adequately prepared.
And of course, that no one is President Trump. Most of de Blasio’s nauseous screeds are partisan attacks on Trump at a time that most observers say politics must be set aside. De Blasio’s attacks are vicious even by gutter-level political standards. He goes beyond the mantra of left-wing “too little, too late” accusations. De Blasio accuses Trump of being an obstacle to resolution. Trump should – as de Blasio puts it – “get out of the way.”
He accuses the President – and by extension, all those highly respected doctors Trump has assembled and presents to the American public in daily briefings — of being derelict in their responsibilities to the American public. He accuses Trump & Co. of being complicit in the needless potential deaths of thousands of people even though the national death toll from the Coronavirus is approaching 300 as of this writing – with a death rate of less than 1.5 percent as compared to the worldwide rate of 4-plus percent. Someone must be doing something right.
To use the Yiddish term, de Blasio’s political rantings are the definition of chutzpah – unmitigated gall. He should be pointing the accusatory finger at his image in the mirror.
We have to understand that almost all matters of public health are handled and managed at the local and state levels – with the greatest emphasis on the local level. Local governments are on the front line of public health. Cities and counties create public health hospitals and clinics. They hire virtually all the public-sector medical personnel. They purchase most of the equipment and the medications for public health services.
While private hospitals handle patients, local government and local medical facilities are charged with managing overarching health issues – like a community outbreak. They are the ones to respond to those most in need They are the ones charged with coordinating the public/private sector responses.
So, Mr. de Blasio, where was your anticipation? What were you doing for the past five years to protect the citizens of New York from such an eventuality? Why is your city experiencing the worst outbreak in America? Why don’t you have the supplies? Why didn’t you have a plan or strategy for providing more beds in a crisis? Why did you delay closing the schools or issuing a stay home order? Why so long before you closed the restaurants and bars? Why didn’t you use city funds to secure the needed equipment instead of simply sending requests to Washington?
You could have used your power and your budget to respond more quickly rather than rely on the more tedious process of sending requests off to Washington in the form of open letters – and then complain. Why?
You called on Uncle Sam to place orders with all those companies that you say are ready to respond. But why don’t you do the buying as is the traditional procedure?
Washington and state governments serve in supportive roles, but you, Mr. de Blasio, have the frontline primary role. It is your public health department, your hospitals, your clinics and your medical professionals who need to be management engaged. If they are not adequately prepared and equipped, it is YOUR failure.
You keep calling on Trump to send in the Army. You should be calling on our own Governor Andrew Cuomo to send in the National Guard, which is under his authority. It is the Guard that is normally brought in for domestic crises.
Everything you say about Trump and even your own Governor Andrew Cuomo applies more appropriately to you. By your own measures and statements, it is YOU who have failed miserably – and the people of New York City are specifically suffering the consequences of YOUR lack of foresight and anticipation – YOUR failure to establish programs and policies to anticipate and address this crisis in your town.
New York is in the worse shape than any city in America because you opted for the political blame game instead of addressing the Coronavirus crisis. Shame on you.
So, there ‘tis.