As was commonplace even during the Trump era, every week, state governors hold virtual meetings with the White House to coordinate a follow-up on policies taken and to be taken regarding the CCP Virus (COVID-19) and its serious health consequences. But neither Biden nor Harris are leading these calls. And to everyone’s surprise, the new person in charge of coordinating the meetings is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, despite being accused of having mishandled the virus.
Every Tuesday, usually at 11 a.m., all 50 governors dial into the same conference call to coordinate federal and state responses to the coronavirus crisis.
Until last January, the voice of Vice President Mike Pence, who as head of the White House COVID task force, led those weekly discussions.
Occasionally, former President Trump would chime in with his comments and position on the matter.
Currently under the new administration the weekly calls continue, but no longer under the leadership of the president or vice president as it was before. “It’s been a real frustration, I think it’s safe to say, for all 50 governors,” New Hampshire’s Chris Sununu told RealClearPolitics.
“Chairman Biden hasn’t been in any of the meetings,” the Nebraska governor told RCP, “and Vice President Harris has only been on one, but that was for about five minutes and she didn’t take any questions.” In his place leading these meetings has been contributor Jeffrey Zients.
The fact that the highest authorities of the White House do not show up at these kinds of events of vital importance to define joint policies and mark a real leadership in one of the biggest crises in history, is already a serious matter. But certainly making matters worse is the person recently assigned to lead these meetings: Governor Andrew Cuomo.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki explained that the New York governor was put in charge of the conferences because “a change was needed from what was being done.”
It seems that the White House forgot one small detail, Cuomo has been at the center of criticism for the past few months, first due to the plethora of accusations proving his infamous and serial harassment attitude towards women.
And secondly, and directly related to the issue at hand, Cuomo faces serious allegations that because of his lousy handling of the CCP Virus, thousands of elderly people have died in nursing homes, and to top it all off, he has tried to hide the situation.
The New York State Assembly continues to conduct an impeachment investigation, amid calls from top Democrats in his state for him to resign from office.
Criticism from Democrats is not slowing down, as RCP reported, with governors expressing frustration over the lack of leadership leading to a host of problems, from the lack of guidance on how to spend the money allocated in the American Recovery Plan to the timing of vaccine distribution.