It’s another Sunday with a Cuomo, but Friday morning, while listening to Let’s Get After It, Chris Cuomo’s morning show on SiriusXM, I knew that it was his words that I wanted to share. I’ve never been much of a flag waver. But this year, I have a different feeling about the importance of consciously honoring those who have sacrificed for this country and doing our best to live up to our own highest standards.
Chris Cuomo on Memorial Day 2020
This is a big weekend for several reasons. We don’t need to have a pandemic for it to be a big weekend. Where are we, in this moment of recognizing, remembering, paying tribute to, celebrating, commemorating?
We are not showing desperate measures in desperate times. We are doing something that has to be done, but we are not doing it the right way. And it is not in keeping with what we are remembering this weekend. We are not doing everything we can to win this war.
In terms of the operational and procedural urgency that we should be showing, we’re not doing it. This is the only war I’ve ever seen fought where the operational strategy was, Let everybody figure it out for themselves. Even in a time of no communication, no history, no preparation, and not even any real sense of nationalism, the Revolutionary War had more central planning than this. And here, what are we doing? Every man for himself. Every state can figure it out itself.
It just doesn’t make sense to me. On Memorial Day weekend, when we are remembering the sacrifice of people who fought and died for us, are we fighting the way we should now to not let the country that we love die?
Where is our resolve? Where is Rosie the Riveter? He went out to Ford. Look at the ventilators. One plant? Found that company up in Maine to make the swabs. One company? In America? In a time when you’re celebrating testing less than 10% of your population? And your fallback position is, Oh come on, man. Do we really have to test that many people? This is derring-do? This is American greatness? This is us rising? Seriously? On a day that we remember that people were willing to die for this country and we’re fighting about whether or not to wear a mask?
We really don’t have a national plan on how to do this, on how to see how the enemy is spreading through our ranks? Really? Oh we did so well, we made more than we needed. That is a very toxic and wrong spin. You didn’t need as many ventilators as you thought because of you, not because of them, not because of the government response. No, we reduced the need. We did it, through sacrifice.
Do you see us doing everything we can? We got punched, like six, seven times. Bang, Right to your head. Direct cross. You see blue, you see green. You’re down. There is no referee, your hands are over your head. That’s the economy shutting down. You’re bleeding. Those are the jobs. That’s our savings. That’s our future. You’re thinking you’re fading, you’re going to pass out. Those are our dreams, not just deferred but dying. I gotta get up. Hell yeah, you gotta get up. Never been about reopen or not. Reopen, period. But what do you do when you decide to uncover and get up? Think about it. Where are our hands? How are our feet set?
I don’t see us fighting. What I see is like blaming: who let this person in the ring? That knockdown wasn’t so bad. I’m not bleeding that bad. I’m back up. It’s not my fault. My trainers suck. And you know, the camp that this fighter comes from, they’re totally dirty—we’re spending our time on that bullshit. And we’re like looking at our corner men and saying, You guys better figure this out. No. You’re in the ring.
I just don’t see the fight and it makes me sad. What we need is all hands on deck, government doing all the planning it can, assisting as much as it can, and running away from none of the reality. The fight is real.
This weekend, we are remembering that people did things that cost them their lives in the interest of something they believed in. What do we believe in? I want to reopen, I want to get back, I believe in our economy. Are we doing everything we can to make that happen? We’re not doing it the right way. We don’t have the desperation. We’re not Rosie the Riveter. Where is that? Let’s try to find it this weekend. Stop fighting with ourselves about what we’re not doing and start remembering how we have to be our best.