“Just bring me Cuomo,” my wife orders the television.
With the rest of us, she despairs at the televised clichés — one more “grim milestone,” one more “word from the White House” which translates mostly to self-serving words.
She suggests Anthony Fauci should call Donald Trump an idiot to his face, get fired, and then start his own health-care information network.
Meanwhile, everyone is talking about the Cuomos – Gov. Andrew and CNN’s Chris — and well they should.
Andrew models what government is all about – serving us, not serving an orange emperor. Chris is models survival as he broadcasts while the virus hammers at him.
These images that will linger after this is history – these and the image of Trump dismissing the virus at a stage that seemed early but which was already too late.
Franklin Roosevelt began his fireside chats March 12, 1933, in the height of the Great Depression. People wanted to hear from someone in charge.
This past March, because we had a president mainly interested in his TV ratings and in shutting down reporters’ reasoned questions, it became clear who was in charge in America: governors — for better or worse.
Where I live in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis, who took office in 2018 in a blue wave that gave Democrats a lock on state government, will be remembered as our FDR figure.
He is calm and clinical. He has challenged people to do the right thing without sugar-coating any of the horrible facts.
Polis has not been a “cheerleader,” as this president presumes his role to be. He has been a trusted counselor and someone who acts decisively. He’s no poser. But he’ll strike a pose if it serves the public interest.
The day the Centers for Disease Control advised it, Polis wore a personally designed facial covering in a TV address. The reason? People who show no signs of the virus might transmit it unknowingly.
Contrast with Trump, who shrugged that might be a good thing but he won’t do it.
Contrast with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, a Trump wannabe who acknowledged a month after the rest of us knew it that asymptomatic individuals can spread the virus.
Colorado’s Polis followed the model of Gov. Inslee of Washington (deemed a “snake” by His Orange-ness) and set the state on an early and intensive regimen of social distancing.
True, some in Colorado thought that, oh, skis strapped to one’s feet could ward off the virus. By and large, Coloradans have taken this seriously.
Is it working? Yes.
Traffic data shows that vehicular traffic has been cut in half in the Centennial State compared to a month ago. One of the most striking figures was the 80 percent decrease in weekend traffic through the Eisenhower Tunnel to Colorado high-country splendor.
Is the drop slowing the advance of the disease? Yes. In early March, state-acknowledged cases of the disease were doubling every day. That rate has slowed to a doubling each five or six days.
Not to paint a too-rosy scenario about this. The fact is we have no clue about this matter because of the miserable federal response regarding testing. Remember, of course – history will – that Donald Trump said back on March 12 that “anybody that wants a test can get a test.”
Ah, Mr. Rosy Scenario. This explains why so many Americans have taken my wife’s lead and muted the TV whenever the health-care hack posing as our chief executive takes to the screen.
As I type this, however, she is listening to New York Gov. Cuomo.
He is the Churchill of this moment. Chris Cuomo is the Edward R. Murrow. Donald Trump? You tell me. Rodney Dangerfield?
Every American right now should demand that his or her governor be a Roosevelt. If not, that faker should be replaced by the ballot.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.