Eight months back, Andrew Cuomo unveiled a poster celebrating New York state’s triumph about Covid-19. Embossed on a mountain, symbolizing the state’s journey about the preceding 4 months, have been a host of illustrations or photos and metaphors: a hearth for the 1st outbreak a dollar indicator for the economic downturn a disengaged President Trump sitting on the moon a “boyfriend cliff,” a wry nod to Cuomo’s very own widely praised and private daily push conferences, in which he ragged his daughter’s boyfriend. Hanging around the summit of the mountain was a rainbow and the words “Love Wins.” The poster—and an accompanying three-dimensional foam model—are nearly definitely the closest matter a sitting down elected formal has occur to developing outsider artwork. They have been also macabre mementos: “The ‘mountain’ is a triumphalist materialization of an overwhelming pile of bodies,” my colleague Alex Pareene wrote at the time. “It is a manifestation of a horrific and avoidable failure.”
The mountain served as a far better metaphor for Cuomo’s profile than it did for New York state’s response to the pandemic. At that minute, New York’s loss of life toll was the best in the nation, but the state’s governor was surprisingly seen as the community formal who had done the most effective task fighting the virus. This was an consequence that had significantly extra to do with aesthetics than policy—Cuomo’s austere, science-led briefings ended up applied as counter-programming to Trump’s conspiracy-loaded logorrhea. By mid-summer months, he was a single of the most preferred politicians in the country. A number of months later on, with his state about to enter a 2nd wave, he took a victory lap, publishing a ebook of management classes he learned throughout the pandemic. He was being touted as a main Democratic presidential candidate in 2024.
But in excess of the past number of months, Cuomo has careened down the mountain. All through 2020, Republicans experienced tried using to change New York’s staggeringly large fee of Covid-19-similar nursing homes fatalities into a scandal. Final month, it was discovered that the state experienced deliberately undercounted those fatalities, apparently fearing that they would be politicized by President Trump. A dam broke with that revelation: The governor has given that been overwhelmed by a wave of scandals relating not only to his managing of the virus, but also his toxic management model and penchant for bullying and earning sexually suggestive remarks. On Saturday a previous aide accused him of sexual harassment, outlined in damning element in The New York Instances, which followed a preceding accusation of harassment designed by a further former staffer. On Sunday, Cuomo conceded to going through a formal investigation into his habits that will be done by New York’s legal professional typical, Letitia James. All of a sudden, just after ten a long time in electric power, the walls are closing in.