Plain Speaking, Politics


The term “comorbidity” is a word that, three years ago, I doubt one in ten men-on-the-street would have been able to accurately define.  Its prefix is derived from the Latin word meaning “together” or “at once,” and its suffix comes from the Latin word meaning “disease.”  It’s a word that’s very familiar to anyone who works in the healthcare industry, and is used to describe patients who present with multiple, simultaneous diagnoses, and whose care has to be managed by keeping them all in mind, spinning all the plates, juggling all the balls, dotting all the paperwork “I’s” crossing all the insurance “T’s,” prescribing the properly indicated, and not contra-indicated, badly-interacting drugs, pursuing the right treatments, and doing everything possible to ensure the best possible outcome, both for the hospital and the patient.

Sadly (I think) it’s a word that’s fallen into common usage in the age of Covid.  Perhaps it should even be nominated, come December, for the Oxford Dictionary “Word of the Year.”  We talk about comorbidities all the time: About how elderly people who have them are likely to die when they contract the disease; about how youths who don’t almost never do. About how obesity is the most dangerous and deadly one when it comes to simultaneously (and at the same time) being diagnosed with Covid,  but how no-one is willing to say so publicly and urge people to lose weight.  And about how whether or not one has them should–perhaps–be taken into account in one’s decision about whether or not to be vaccinated.

There’s a fine article by Seth Barron in this week’s City Journal, titled “Democrats’ New Villain.”  It deals with the sexual harassment charges against the loathsome Andrew Cuomo, elder–and perhaps the more obnoxious (it’s a close-run thing)–son of Mario the Pious (h/t Rush Limbaugh).  And although it’s not a long article, there are a couple of paragraphs which succinctly sum the matter up:

The national media, wedded to the narrative that the entire pandemic was Donald Trump’s fault, elevated Cuomo to the status of savior, an anti-Trump who would heal America just as Trump had palsied it. Cuomo—who probably never studied René Girard on the scapegoat or read deeply in the anthropological literature on the significance of sacrifice—embraced the charade, believing that he really was the hero of the drama, rather than a functionary in a national passion play in which he was cast as Trump’s foil.

It is fitting that, with Trump no longer in focus as national villain, the nation would turn to his double as the new bad guy. But Cuomo’s disastrous handling of the pandemic cannot, for political reasons, become the reason for his lustration: too many other Democratic leaders, including governors, took the same actions, and to deal honestly with the problem would destroy too many careers. Better to remove Cuomo for sexual indiscretions and then bury his major failures as a footnote.

Does anyone doubt that, if it weren’t for his simultaneous elephant-in-the-room Covid response (something for which Cuomo has repeatedly been let off the hook, and with regard to which he and his public relations machine have made no bones about smearing and insulting the survivors of those who died*), Andrew Cuomo would now be riding out this storm à la Bill Clinton? That seems to be what he is trying to do.  After all, he probably thinks his indiscretions–although ubiquitous, creepy, and unwelcome–pale in comparison to those of some others.  And I suppose they do.

I think he’s toast.  And that it’s a shame he’ll go down in history as a mauler of women, rather than as someone who contributed to the deaths of thousands of defenseless old people.

What do you think?

*In a similar way, Cuomo and his handlers have gone after the women who’ve accused him of harassment.  The Luv Guv is a nasty guy, as anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear should have known long ago.

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