Cuomo can't conceal his glee at news of defiant barber spreading COVID-19

New York's embattled governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced that an upstate barber who violated quarantine, caught COVID-19, and then spread it to others is reason enough for More Lockdown.  He said it with an impressive combination of coldness and glee, looking like some kind of hard-faced Caligula-like character.

Let them hate me so long as they fear me.

Here's the NBC YouTube:

My transcript:

Reporter: "... I mean, seriously, they have to pay for their food, they have to pay for their buildings, even, you know, month to month, and they're not getting any income ..."

Cuomo: "Yeah, how about the story about the hair stylist in Kingston?"  (A little twinkle comes to his eye, and then a little smile).  "Did you hear that story?"  (Another twinkling smile).

Reporter: "I did.  A barber in Kingston was operating, in defiance of the 'close' order, infected, I think over a dozen people.  You know, that is a [sic] occupation of close proximity, right?  You can't really socially distance and do a haircut. ... (Smiles again.) ... Maybe mine, you could do from six feet away (calling attention to his well-coiffed head, someone is doing his hair for sure).  "... But that is, by definition, an up close and personal occupation.  But hairstyling is in Phase II."  

(Confirms with a flunkie.)

This would be the same governor who ordered nursing homes with force of law to be seeded with COVID-19 patients, triggering the horrendous 5,000-plus death toll coming from New York's nursing homes, far and away the nation's highest, and believed to have been undercounted.

It's the same one who announced that securing personal protective equipment for nursing homes was "not our job" and now orders tests for their employees in yet another order that will be impossible to comply with.

Now he's outraged about a barber, and pay no attention to all the people who died as a result of his mailed fist, force-of-law mandates.  This is the last guy in the world who ought to be pointing a finger at a bad, irresponsible barber.  He's got 5,000 dead on his scorecard.

It's the same one who just got done saying this:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week said officials "did everything we could" to protect vulnerable populations, like those in nursing homes, from coronavirus, but acknowledged "you can't save everyone."

"As a society, you can't save everyone. You're gonna lose people, that's life," Cuomo told reporters amid reports of nursing home deaths exceeding 5,000. "But we did everything we could."

In other words, just order people to do stuff, and too bad if they can't do it.

Notice that he didn't answer the reporter's question at all — what indeed are people supposed to do when they are denied all possibility of earning a livelihood and can't get through, or maybe can't even qualify, for state aid?  He seems to be saying "shut up and starve."

The barber shop story is a complicated one, a sad story, one that does involve some blame and injury, including even to competitors who stayed shut, yet it might be exaggerated.  How, for instance, could the man presumably having no symptoms still spread the disease, for one, or did he work with open symptoms?  Did he use protection?  Was there a willing buyer and a willing seller?  We don't know any of this at this point, so I'm staying tuned for fake news.

What most people will be able to identify with are the issues the anguished barber raised in a separate New York Times report:

A few hours after leaving the hospital, Mr. LaLima railed against the governor. He said he had done no wrong, and was simply trying to make a living.

"I am aggravated to the nines," Mr. LaLima said. "Is Cuomo going to pay me? Is he going to make up the difference? Is he going to pay my taxes? Is he going to pay the heat and electric? Is he going to feed my family?" he asked.

Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to the governor, was unmoved by Mr. LaLima's defense. "There is no excuse to be reckless in a pandemic," he said.

That was the issue the reporter tried to get an answer out of from Cuomo, and he ignored her.

It makes Cuomo look like a heartless bastard.  Seriously, he demands a huge price from some parts of society (nursing homes, small businesses), and when they scream in pain, his response is, "you're on your own, mac," and he calls the cops.  He doesn't address the barber's issues at all; he offers no hope, no aid, no promise of better days, just the iron fist of big government — comply or else. 

And those little smiles.  This incident might be some kind of tipping point.  Shut up and starve, with a little smile.  People don't like this kind of glee.

Image credit: NBC YouTube screen shot.