Gov. Andrew Cuomo decired on Monday what he said was the politicization of the pandemic by Republicans at the federal level.
And in many respects he could have been speaking to the many political headaches that have encapsulated the questions he'd facing from the Legislature on nursing homes, returning students to school and returning the economy to some semblance of normal.
Cuomo summed up his frustration on Monday with how President Donald Trump pushed states to reopen or "liberate" by having businesses operate. Now many states are seeing rising COVID rates as New York's have flattened out.
"It's not deadly serious for Democrats. It's not deadly serious for blue states onlym" Cuomo said. "COVID kills Republicans and COVID affects red states. It is deadlyserious. This was not a political issue and it shouldn't have been politicized. This is public health that's what this was and it should have never been turned into a political symbol which is what this president did. Start with the truth and the truth is an outbreak anywhere is an outbreak everywhere."
As Cuomo spoke at a New York City press conference, protesters in Albany -- a collection of people upset with his nursing home policies, people skeptical of vaccinations and those calling for a full reopening of schools and businesses -- protested outside of the state Capitol.
It's probably not surprising that a global pandemic, a slow-moving disaster that's killed more than 150,000 Americans, created record unemployment leading to 21st century bread lines and exposing the rot of structural inequities that existed well before is leading to charges of partisanship.
These are, after all, partisan, tribal times.
And over a webstream, state lawmakers were grilling his health commisioner, Howard Zucker, over the deaths in long-term care facilities in New York and whether the state was undercounting the death toll.
Cuomo has been sharply critical of the criticism he's received on the issued, singling out right-wing media like Fox News and The New York Post for reporting on the issue.
At the same time, a governor who has touted a data-driven approach on reopening venues and businesses, acknowledged the school question is ultimately one of emotion for parents. What instrument do you use to gage the choice of going back to work to earn a living and making sure your child is safe at school?
The pandemic, the minute details of society it has infected, are of course subject to the politics of our age. And, unfortunately, it's lives that are stake.