Andrew Cuomo thinks he’s done such a good job handling the coronavirus outbreak that he’s begging residents to return to the Big Apple.
Speaking Monday, the Democrat governor pleaded with wealthy New Yorkers who fled the city amid concerns over COVID-19 to come back. “I talk to them literally every day. I say, ‘When are you coming back? I’ll buy you a drink. I’ll cook,’” Cuomo said, according to the U.K.’s Telegraph.
Cuomo gets desperate
The rise of COVID-19 in the Big Apple last spring convinced many wealthy New Yorkers to abandon the big city for second homes in suburban Long Island and elsewhere in the tri-state area, apparently for good.
Speaking this week, however, Cuomo played up a persona he has cultivated in daily press briefings for months, inviting rich New Yorkers to return for a home-cooked meal — and pick up the tab from the state’s lockdowns, which liquidated thousands of city businesses while leaving government budgets severely underfunded, The Telegraph noted.
“I literally talk to people all day long who are now in their Hamptons house who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley house, or in their Connecticut weekend house, and I say, ‘You got to come back!'” Cuomo said Monday, according to The Hill.
“The worst place to do business”
While Cuomo has often boasted about his response to the pandemic, New York has had more deaths than any other state, and according to The New York Times, “about one of every 370 [New York City] residents has died” from the coronavirus disease. Indeed, the Democrat governor has apparently succeeded in turning one of the world’s most coveted pieces of real estate into a place where nobody wants to live.
In addition to the virus itself, the lockdowns that Cuomo pushed probably didn’t help convince many to stay, as many of the city’s attractions were shuttered, making the Big Apple look more like a giant petri dish than an enviable home.
According to The Telegraph, the once-bustling city is now “the worst place to do business in the country,” with foot traffic down 85% and businesses struggling to make it, even as lockdowns ease.
Still, Cuomo has kept to congratulating himself while blaming President Donald Trump for the devastation.
“If Trump’s government had done its job, the virus wouldn’t have come here,” Cuomo told CNN in July, according to Fox News. “The virus didn’t come here because of anything New Yorkers did, the virus came here because the federal government missed it.”
If his plea for a return doesn’t work, Cuomo is sticking to what he does best: blaming Washington, D.C. for New York’s problems. According to the New York Post, the governor is calling on Congress to bail out the state, as higher taxes on billionaires would just give New York expats more reasons to stay put.
“They’re not coming back right now. And you know what else they’re thinking? ‘If I stay there, I’ll pay a lower income tax,’ because they don’t pay the New York City surcharge,” he said Monday, according to The Hill. “I’m not going to let Washington off the hook.”