Editorial: A corner turned: Gov. Cuomo’s last briefing marks end of a dark moment in New York history

Tribune Content Agency

Coronavirus and the shutdown of normal life across New York mean we’ve lost many typical markers: the events, commutes, weekends and weekdays we once used to note the passage of time.

But when Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his 111th daily COVID-19 briefing on Friday, on one of the longest, most sun-filled days of the year, it marked the welcome end (knock wood) of one of the grimmest epochs in New York’s history.

When the governor began daily updates in early March, New York girded for dark days of unknown duration. Federal leadership was nonexistent. In the least Trumpian fashion imaginable, Cuomo soberly delivered facts about how bad the situation was and how bad it might become. He was candid. He admitted his own fear. His arrival at the podium to inform millions despite that fear set an example: that we could not give up fighting.

For months we’ve donned masks, stood apart, done essential work or stayed home. The governor’s consistency was instrumental in pulling us together and PowerPointing the way.

Cuomo made mistakes — ones that may prove very serious especially as the luxury of hindsight sets in. He and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio probably moved to shut things down too late. Time and investigation will uncover whether New York’s sending infected residents back to nursing homes was a horrible miscalculation. Too many logistical messes resulted from stupid frictions between him and the mayor. More than 30,000 New Yorkers have died.

But this much is also true: He led us through.


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