Right, wrong or indifferent, I have always been a firm believer that politicians should be held to a higher standard of morals than the people who vote them into office. There is certain accountability that comes with the platform of a politician, and it’s a politician’s duty to use that platform in a constructive and altruistic way. Politicians are the ones who should be the superheroes that little kids awe at and adults strive to be. Sadly, that is not always the case. However, if onething from this pandemic is now certain, it is that Governor Andrew Cuomo is just this: a man that all Americans can admire and aspire to be – a true modern-day hero.
If you missed Governor Cuomo’s daily press conference last Wednesday, you missed one of the reasons why he has been the white knight throughout some of the darkest days that many Americans have ever seen. As Cuomo began by using Joe Friday’s coined phrase “Just the facts ma’am,” he reminded us that he has given us “justthe facts” through it all. Cuomo’s daily briefings have been nothing if not data-driven since the beginning. He has given us the heartbreaking numbers of infections and deaths every day; he has told us the ventilators he has, the masks he needs and the money we have lost. He has graciously taken responsibility and frequently reflected praise while simultaneously ensuring that the people of New York – and all of America – understand the true meaning of “the buck stops here.” He has reminded us that “you can have your own opinion, but you cannot have your own facts.” Above all, he has persevered through some of the hardest things anyone should ever have to say with empathy, grace and courage.
Now more than ever, the facts are of the utmost importance, which means that the validity and integrity that Governor Cuomo has established with the American people are not only unparalleled, but also more appreciated than he probably even knows. Still, beyond his numbers, Cuomo has done the best job of humanizing this horrible situation. He has reminded us that behind every single number he hands you, there is a face, a family and a loved one representing that number. Cuomo has reminded us that there is nothing more final than literal death and that everything else, we can handle. He has grounded us in gratitude and given recognition long past due, not only to nurses and doctors, but to every essential worker that has played an absolutely pivotal role in our nation’s survival.
Finally, Governor Cuomo has stepped above politics in a time when we need it most. He has cooperated with the White House and continuously refused to give into calls for a fight. He has called out partisanship on bothsides of the aisle and demanded morefrom the Red and the Blue alike. He has candidly addressed anyone who claims they are unwilling to help a “blue” state by reminding us all that we are not merely Republicans or Democrats in this time, but instead, we are Americans – together as one. Through it all, he has talked bluntly, yet with empathy and poise. He has provided unambiguous facts to all who will listen in a diplomatic and respectful manner. He has put this terrifying pandemic into perspective for millions of Americans, while remaining the steady voice and heart that has seen it all. Above all, Governor Cuomo has held himself to a higher moral standard of true integrity, character, courage, humility and empathy. Governor Andrew Cuomo has led by example and reminded us to stay human. He has not forgotten the farmer from Kansas nor the child from the city – and if I had to guess, he is the type of hero that we will not forget any time soon.