New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference on July 6 ,2020 in New York City where he announced that President Donald Trump is enabling the coronavirus pandemic by not wearing a mask and downplaying the problem. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
(CNSNews.com) – The coronavirus is a metaphor for the division the country faces, and while President Donald Trump didn’t create the division, he made them worse, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
“New Yorkers were ground zero for the COVID virus and have gone from one of the highest infection rates on the globe to one of the lowest. We climbed the impossible mountain, and right now, we are on the other side. We did it with the kindness and assistance of so many,” the governor said, speaking virtually on day one of the Democratic National Convention.
“We went through hell, but we’ve learned much. We know that our problems go beyond the COVID virus. COVID is the symptom, not the illness. Our nation is in crisis, and in many ways, COVID is just a metaphor. A virus attacks when the body is weak and when it cannot defend itself,” he said.
“Over these past few years, America’s body politic has been weakened. The divisions have been growing deeper – the anti-Semitism, the anti-Latino, the anti-immigrant fervor, the racism in Charlottesville where the KKK didn’t even bother to wear their hoods, and in Minnesota, where the life was squeezed from Mr. Floyd,” Cuomo said.
“Only a strong body can fight off the virus, and America’s divisions weakened it. Donald Trump didn’t create the initial division. The division created Trump. He only made it worse,” the governor said.
“Our collective strength is exercised through government. It is in effect our immune system, and our current federal government is dysfunctional and incompetent. It couldn’t fight off the virus, and in fact, it didn’t even see it coming,” he said.
“The European virus infected the northeast while the White House was still fixated on China. The virus has been attacking us for months before they even knew it was here. We saw the failure of a government that tried to deny the virus, then tried to ignore it, and then tried to politicize it – the failed federal government that watched New York get ambushed by their negligence and then watched New York suffer but all through it learned absolutely nothing,” Cuomo said.
He said that the nation is still “unprepared” six months after the pandemic began, “and we now face a second threat, but this time not from Mother Nature.”
“This is a man-made threat by our negligence. We now see the virus ricocheting across the country, from one state to another. Today, we trail the world in defeating COVID. We have over 5 million cases,” he said.
The governor said that Americans learned the “critical lesson” of “how vulnerable we are when we are divided and how many lives can be lost when our government is incompetent.”
“But we learned something else, my friends. We saw the negative, but we also saw the positive. As they proved their way failed, we proved that our way succeeded, that America can still rise to the occasion. We can put our differences aside and find commonality,” Cuomo said.
“Government can tell the truth and can build trust. We can judge by content of character rather than color of skin. We can care for one another, that Americans can work together and forge community and a competent government, that of course we will wear masks because we are smart and because I care about you and because you care about me,” he said.
“Of course we will socially distance, because staying away shows how close we actually are. Yes, we will set up testing and tracing and do whatever we need to do to mobilize to win this battle, because we are America. We win wars, and we are the greatest country on the globe, and for all the pain and all the tears, our way worked, and it was beautiful,” the governor said.
Cuomo said the former Vice President Joe Biden “can restore the soul of America,” and he praised Biden as “a leader who appeals to the best within us, not the worst, a leader who can unify not divide, a leader who can bring us up, not tear us down.”