Long before the pandemic, these lawmakers had a habit of mentioning another kind of public service. Rep. Max Rose based his 2018 campaign on his military record. Press releases from Assemblyman Colin Schmidt note that he serves in the National Guard. Assemblywoman Karines Reyes has leveraged her nursing experience for political advantage from time to time. Now, Reyes is taking weekend shifts at Montefiore Medical Center, while Rose and Schmitt have mobilized with the National Guard. Their state needs them – and it’s the type of service voters might remember.
This week's biggest Winner's & Losers
This week's biggest Winner's & Losers
The coronavirus pandemic has many of us confronting life’s fundamental questions. To play by the rules, or to break the rules? To share, or not to share? To run, or not to run (or perhaps, instead, just to run)? Fortunately, we can also distract ourselves with more lighthearted questions – such as who are this week’s Winners & Losers?
New York City’s outspoken public advocate has spent the last two weeks aggressively pushing the de Blasio adminsitration to track the racial breakdown of COVID-19 cases, and others quickly began paying attention to the disproportionate share of cases among minorities. On Tuesday, both the mayor and the governor followed Williams’ recommendation. Sadly, the first set of racial data made public revealed that black and Latino residents are dying at a much higher rate than most.
He’s got the president’s son-in-law’s phone number, and he knows how to use it. A day after Rep. Lee Zeldin went to Jared Kushner, asking for a delivery of N95 masks to Suffolk County, President Donald Trump announced that he would send 200,000 of the personal protective equipment at no cost to the county. That’s after Zeldin successfully secured 150,000 surgical masks for Suffolk as well. Normally, being a member of New York’s Republican congressional delegation doesn’t get you very far. But this time, it was just what the doctor ordered.
We wouldn’t call it a “Zoom-bombing,” but New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza dropped a double whammy of bad news on students and teachers over the weekend that’s not winning him a seat at the cool kids’ cafeteria table – or even in the teachers’ lounge. Much to the dismay of the teachers’ union, Carranza announced that teachers must work not only through spring break but on the religious holidays on April 9 and 10. And if getting students and teachers used to remote learning with Zoom wasn’t hard enough, Carranza said schools can no longer use the video conferencing service because of its issues with security and privacy.
COVID-19 cases in Rockland County are sharply increasing, but County Executive Ed Day doesn’t seem to have a leg to stand on with the governor. After failing to get the state to set up a containment zone similar to one created in Westchester at the beginning of the state’s outbreak, Day still doesn’t seem to have a clear line of communication with the state. Day says he lacks the power to enforce state social distancing mandates, while Cuomo’s administration disagrees. There’s no use pointing fingers during a crisis, but for Rockland’s sake, it would be best if Day and Cuomo figure out how to move forward.
President Donald Trump is a hypocrite when it comes to voting by mail (he did it last month in Florida), but Republicans are following his lead in perpetuating the unfounded assertion that voting by mail would foster widespread voting fraud. The party may hinder mail-in ballots in other states this year, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making sure New Yorkers can vote remotely. Looks like state Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy is going to have to accept that New York is going to become more like Oregon – which began universal absentee voting two decades ago – whether he likes it or not.