By Sam Mikhail
“God did not do that.” Those five words recently spoken by Governor Cuomo really found their way under my skin. He used them at a press conference in response to the decline of COVID-19 cases in New York. In this op-ed, I will share five fundamental reasons (one for each of his words) why the governor’s statement is ill-advised.
- First and foremost, in the transcript of the press conference it is evident that his statement was completely unwarranted. Cuomo wasn’t addressing someone else’s comment or a question. No one claimed that “God” is supernaturally imposing this virus or unilaterally healing people of it. It simply appeared that Cuomo was taking credit for the flattening of the curve because, as his majesty has said, “it’s simple math”—maintain social distancing, feverishly practice hand washing, and the problem will take care of itself. It shocks me that he can display this level of arrogance in light of the fact that this infirmity hit so close to home for the governor. His own brother Chris Cuomo described COVID-19 like it was someone trying to kill you, “It wants to take you out.”
- Many of our heroic emergency workers in the Metro New York area and all over the country have relied on prayer and the God Cuomo believes had nothing to do with it. They have leaned on the Lord for extraordinary strength during this pandemic crisis. Scroll through your social media feeds for five minutes and you’ll find a number of pictures and videos of doctors, nurses, hospital aides, and cleaning staff who found it necessary—right in the middle of their workday—to stop and call out to God. They’ve gathered on hospital rooftops, helipads and right there in the hospital hallways to cry out to God together.
- It has been scientifically validated (I may even say proven) that deep faith and prayer do often change the course of things. Scientists usually agree that research indicates that people who pray typically heal better and faster. This doesn’t, in and of itself, prove the existence of God, but what it does demonstrate is that simple applied faith does give emotional, psychological, and even physical benefit. So, still…God (even in concept) has something to do with it.
- I also find it puzzling that Andrew Cuomo is a professing Catholic. While I can’t comment on whether or not he has a relationship with the Living God, I can say that his five words make it clear that he doesn’t adhere to the teaching of his own faith. This is obvious if you read the words of the Apostles Creed.
- And lastly, I have to ask the question, why does the governor feel the need to openly deny God’s intervention when over 80% of New York State residents believe in God, and even more are potentially seeking Him during this Coronavirus crisis? According to a 2007 study, Christians (Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox and non-denominational affiliations) make up 73% of New Yorkers, add the 6% of Jewish and 2% Muslim, Cuomo has pretty much slapped the face of a large majority of the residents who actually put him in office.
In conclusion, what gets under my skin the most is Governor Cuomo’s arrogance in making this statement. He said God had nothing to do with it and shoved it in the faces of New Yorkers that its “simple math.” This feels like an “I told you so!” Take it a step further, his majesty Cuomo criticized Trump for behaving like a king when he stated it was his decision how and when he would open the country back up for business. This is ironic in light of Cuomo’s criticism of NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio just a few weeks ago when he stated that it was the governor’s decision, not the mayor’s, to impose a lockdown. Interesting, isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black? You decide.