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THE PRINCE by Ross Barkan


Andrew Cuomo, Coronavirus, and the Fall of New York

by Ross Barkan

Pub Date: June 22nd, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-68219-410-2
Publisher: OR Books

The heights and depths of a tumultuous governorship.

In this corrective to Cuomo’s cherry-picked account of his (mis)management, American Crisis, veteran journalist Barkan, who has covered Cuomo as a journalist at City Hall for eight years, urgently chronicles the governor’s crushing fall from grace amid the relentlessly grim backdrop of the virus. In lucid, declarative prose, the author cites numerous incidents that have contributed to the deterioration of Cuomo’s administration, beginning with a State Attorney General’s report in early 2021 demonstrating that “his Department of Health had severely undercounted nursing home deaths.” This contradicted previous declarations that New York was at forefront of Covid-19 containment. Then came allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct from six women, including several former aides. Barkan dissects the Covid fiasco in a clear timeline showing the spread of the virus across America on the heels of the Trump impeachment proceedings. The author acknowledges that though the governor would never be as beloved as his father, Mario, he garnered widespread admiration for his initial “management” of the growing pandemic. Dubbing his subject a “deft tactician,” Barkan recounts Cuomo’s early disbelief in the lethality of the virus, before he enforced strict quarantine measures as infections skyrocketed. His attempts at damage control—e.g., touting minimal infection rates and low elderly mortality counts during press briefings—backfired, however, as a federal probe discovered startling statistics that contradicted Cuomo’s proclamations. In conclusion, the author digs further back into the administration to reveal missteps he believes directly contributed to the catastrophe, including deep cuts in health care spending, tax hikes, and the closings of “hospitals that could have treated patients in the outer reaches of New York City as the coronavirus first struck.” Based on original reporting and expansive interviews, this slim, scathing book convincingly debunks Cuomo’s “false narrative of triumph” and, in exacting detail, reveals the corrupt side of present-day New York government.

A damning political polemic of a controversial administration mired in failed leadership.