Mayor de Blasio — who, last we checked, was in charge of the nation’s largest public school system — Saturday rightly declared the system’s buildings closed for the rest of the academic year. Actually, public health and science made the decision for him.
He should’ve properly consulted with Gov. Cuomo first. He didn’t and was wrong to go it alone.
Hours later, Cuomo made matters worse. Intent on being Atlas Holding New York on his shoulders, the governor said re-opening schools was his call and no such decision had been made. While it may be true that podunk school systems should follow the governor’s lead and not make hundreds of independent judgments, New York City stands alone.
Chalk it up as episode 3,582 in The Two Most Powerful Men in New York Can’t Manage to Find a Way to Communicate, Much Less Work Constructively Together.
This isn’t just a petty psychodrama. The result of the chronic failure to get it together is a populace that doesn’t know whether to trust the proclamations issued by one chief executive because they don’t know whether the other might try to undercut him minutes, hours or days later.
This isn’t about a dead deer. In a pandemic, crossed signals can cost human lives.
It wouldn’t have been hard for de Blasio, who made a point of saying that he had discussed the issue with Dr. Tony Fauci, to reach agreement with Cuomo first. Or for Cuomo, after de Blasio went public, to suck it up and say that Hizzoner’s decision, which he obviously is not going to contradict or override (is he?), stands.
A little face lost by either or both would mean a lot of public confidence gained. We live in hope.
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