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11 May, 2020 21:02

‘European virus’: Cuomo goes all-in on Covid-19 language gymnastics in standoff with Trump

‘European virus’: Cuomo goes all-in on Covid-19 language gymnastics in standoff with Trump

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called Covid-19 the “European virus,” to zero pushback from the press that gave President Donald Trump no end of trouble back when he called it a “Chinese virus.”

Outlining a plan to reopen some parts of the state for business – while keeping New York City and its environs under strict lockdown – at a press conference on Monday, Cuomo argued that the virus came to New York from Europe, not China, and even referred to it as the “European virus” multiple times.

At the same press conference, Cuomo argued that the virus came from Europe in January and “no one knew” about it, appearing to blame the federal government and US intelligence for the fact that New York came to account for about a quarter of all US Covid-19 cases and deaths.

“With all the sophistication, with all the public health organizations, with that whole alphabet soup of agencies, nobody knew the virus was coming from Europe,” the governor said.

The theory that New York cases were seeded from Europe and not directly from China – where the virus was first registered in December 2019 – seems to be based on two pre-published studies from early April, which suggested the largest US city may have been visited by infected travelers from northern Italy, a secondary hotspot of the contagion.

While the mainstream media outlets paid no mind to Cuomo’s curious choice of phrasing, conservative commentators and celebrities quickly noticed the stark difference between how the media treated their beloved governor and their treatment of Trump over his use of “Chinese virus,” which was hounded as racist and xenophobic.

It is understandable that CNN has treated Cuomo with far more deference than Trump; his brother Chris hosts an evening opinion show there, and has often interviewed the governor in a very familiar way. CNN’s Cuomo also made a big deal of his own battle with the virus, including the staged ascension from his basement once he recovered – without mentioning he had violated the quarantine by going outside with his family. Other media have likewise given Governor Cuomo the kid-gloves treatment, never challenging any of his policies or justifications for them, however.

Cuomo did not come under criticism even when it emerged last week that his own executive orders mandated nursing homes to accept Covid-19 patients, spreading the contagion among the most vulnerable and leading to some 5,000 or so deaths by the latest count.

Also on rt.com Cuomo roasted for boastful ‘government competence’ tweet as New York nursing home Covid-19 deaths surge

Nor has there been any questioning of his sudden change of heart about reopening, having previously resisted any relaxation of quarantine measures. 

Just two weeks ago, Cuomo argued that the virus was certain death and therefore far worse than economic collapse; that not wearing a mask is literally killing people (while not wearing one himself); that those who wish to reopen just want his mother dead; and that anyone who lost their job due to the shutdown should seek employment in the field the state deemed essential instead.

Also on rt.com Cuomo tells protesters economic collapse from Covid-19 lockdown ‘NOT WORSE THAN DEATH’ – and that they have responsibility to HIM

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