Gov Cuomo sparked uproar on Twitter by playing classic Christmas music and singing during his coronavirus briefing on Monday where he declared: ‘COVID is the Grinch’
An instrumental version of Sleigh Ride began playing over Cuomo’s slideshow toward the beginning of the briefing as he listed off treasured holiday traditions – before a Grinch cartoon flashed up on the screen.
‘This is the season of the COVID Grinch,’ the governor said in a tone far less jolly than the bells and violins playing around him.
‘The COVID Grinch is an opportunist and sees this as the season of viral transmission. When you hear that holiday music, think COVID Grinch and be on alert.’
Cuomo even briefly sang along to the music to emphasize his message that holiday activities will worsen the spread of coronavirus.
Twitter users seized on the bizarre display within minutes, with some branding it hilariously quirky while others found it inappropriate given the seriousness of the subject matter.
A few critics accused Cuomo of focusing too much on entertainment value after winning an Emmy for his coronavirus press conferences, with one writing: ‘Is he going for another Emmy?’
An instrumental version of Sleigh Ride began playing over Cuomo’s slideshow toward the beginning of the briefing as he listed off treasured holiday traditions – before a Grinch cartoon flashed up on the screen
Twitter users seized on the bizarre display within minutes, with some branding it hilariously quirky while others found it inappropriate given the seriousness of the subject matter
Several critics accused Cuomo of focusing too much on entertainment value, with one writing: ‘Is he going for another Emmy?’
Some of the people sounding off on Twitter acknowledged Cuomo’s unconventional effort to keep things interesting – but concluded that it didn’t work out very well.
‘Cuomo, again I love you, but storytime is not your forte,’ one man wrote.
Another user added: ‘That was laugh out loud hilarious. I do love my @NYGovCuomo. Only he would incorporate Christmas music into such a serious briefing.’
‘This fool got music cues in his presser. Papa Cuomo just went Hollywood,’ a third wrote.
Theater critic Nicole Serratone said she wanted to write a review of Cuomo’s presser
Others were more critical of the governor, including Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, who wrote: ‘Cuomo is the Grinch. The Grinch that helped spread Covid into nursing homes and profited off their deaths by writing a book about leadership in the middle of a pandemic.’
Theater critic Nicole Serratone wrote: ‘Cuomo somehow has holiday music playing over his COVID will kill you this season presentation. It is not the greatest sound mix I have ever encountered.
There are days where I really want to review his powerpoint presentation as art. And music cues today…make me wish I had time to do this.
‘It’s all badly done…but the WAY it is badly done is fascinating.’
Cuomo’s Grinch commentary came at the top of an otherwise tense briefing where he revealed that he is telling every hospital in New York to start recruiting retired doctors and nurses now before they become overwhelmed.
He noted that hospitalizations have gone up from 850 in June to 3,552 now – and new infections from Thanksgiving have not yet revealed themselves.
An entire shutdown – what he calls New York Pause – will happen if the hospital system becomes overwhelmed, he said. At the height of the pandemic in New York, there were more than 18,000 people in the hospital.
Monday’s number of hospitalizations is the same as it was on March 23 but Cuomo said hospitals are better equipped to handle the crisis now. On Sunday, 54 people died across the state of New York. The statewide COVID-19 test positivity rate is now 4.57 percent.
Currently, the state is applying ‘yellow, red and orange’ zone rules to neighborhoods where there are surges.
A red zone – the most severe – closes schools and non-essential businesses but keeps some open. On Monday, Cuomo said that he’d add ‘PAUSE’ as the most severe set of rules. It’s unclear how it will differ from red zones.
Cuomo said he wants to act now to avoid that happening again so is telling every hospital to plan now to add 50 percent to its capacity.
He also revealed that 65 percent of all new infections are coming from small gatherings in homes. Thanksgiving infections will reveal themselves over the next ten days, he said.
Cuomo is telling every hospital to plan now to add 50 percent to its capacity to be able to add more beds in addition to finding more staffing.
Cuomo predicts that the situation is going to keep worsening until mid-January and that a vaccine won’t have any widespread effect until the end of spring.
‘We’re in for round two. With any luck, round two will not be round one. I’m just sorry that we have to go through it again.
‘We have to settle in… we are now worried about overwhelming the hospital system. You will see serious stress on the hospital system and we are still awaiting the post thanksgiving effect.
‘We don’t know what the effect has been yet. We are seeing the rise all across the state. The first go around it was primarily New York City. We had upstate resources we could share.
‘That is not the case this time- it is statewide. Literally every region is dealing with a hospital issue now.Look at those curves they are all going up at an alarming rate,’ he said.
He is telling every hospital to plan now to add 50 percent to its capacity to be able to add more beds in addition to finding more staffing.
‘Every hospital has to identify retired nurses and doctors now – staff just gets exhausted. They’ve had a horrendous year..to now go through this again..’ he said.
He added: ‘We lived this nightmare, we learned from this nightmare and we’re going to correct for the lessons we learned in this nightmare.’
The situation in New York mirrors the nationwide increase.
Every region of New York is seeing a surge in hospitalizations now. In the spring, the worst problem was in New York City
There are now more than 93,000 people in the hospital with COVID across America; a record high. One nurse described the escalating crisis as a ‘natural disaster occurring in every state’.
New York’s test positivity rate is comparatively low to other states – some have more than 40 percent – and is also below the national average of around 9 percent.
Cuomo on Monday said that while the situation will get worse, it is ‘manageable’.
‘The good news is we know what we’re dealing with this time in a way we did not know in the spring. We’re better prepared and we’re going to be smarter in the management of it.
‘If you can keep the system balanced, that’s one situation,’ he said.
Schools in New York City have been shut since November 19 but will reopen next week after Mayor Bill de Blasio received widespread backlash over the decision.
Cuomo said on Monday that closing schools is one of the last things he will do because the infection rate is is so low among kids.