As the governor and the mayor were addressing the fact that a New York City doctor has tested positive for Ebola, Republican candidate for Governor Rob Astorino last night was fulminating via press release.
“This was avoidable,’’ blasted Astorino, who has repeatedly called for Kennedy Airport to be off-limits to passengers from West Africa.
“This is an extraordinary dereliction of duty and common sense both by the governor and the president.’’
Besides being a county executive, Astorino apparently has magically sprouted a medical degree, declaring New York off limits to travelers from the region, including emergency relief workers who have heroically toiled in West Africa. And most experts agree that cutting off a link to New York will surely limit the fight against Ebola abroad.
But even if you believe Astorino is right, it doesn’t look smart for him to try to score political points in the middle of a crisis. Can you really attack Governor Cuomo for trying to keep New Yorkers from panicking?
Cuomo was justifiably lambasted in 2002 after he belittled Governor Pataki’s leadership in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Astorino is wandering into that foolish territory by dragging Ebola into the political arena. There are plenty of other things to fight about before Election Day.