American Crisis Summary By Andrew M. Cuomo

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American Crisis (2020) provides an honest and thorough account of Governor Andrew Cuomo's handling of the COVID-19 crisis in New York.

It takes a close look at the steps Cuomo took to lead the state through its most tumultuous period, while also providing insights into how real leadership should be handled.

The book examines Cuomo's commitment to honesty and transparency, clear communication, and his compassion for others during difficult times.

It's an invaluable resource for anyone looking to understand the importance of proper leadership during a crisis.

American Crisis

Book Name: American Crisis (Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic)

Author(s): Andrew M. Cuomo

Rating: 3.7/5

Reading Time: 24 Minutes

Categories: Book Summaries

Author Bio

American Crisis is written by Andrew M.

Cuomo, the current 56th governor of New York who also is a lawyer and author.

A member of the Democratic Party, Governor Cuomo was elected to the same position his father Mario held previously.

An inspiring leader, he has authored several books including All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life and Crossroads: The Future of American Politics.

His work as governor has been praised for his commitment to supporting American crisis situations to build true progress in our states and communities.

How Governor Andrew Cuomo Managed the First COVID-19 Outbreak in New York City


When faced with a global crisis, leading takes a special kind of courage.

In his book “American Crisis,” Governor Andrew Cuomo gives readers an inside look at what it takes to lead during a pandemic.

On March 1, 2020 Cuomo received an unexpected call in the middle of the night – New York had registered its first case of COVID-19.

He knew that this was not the first coronavirus case and he realized how unprepared America was for what was to come next.

Through this experience, he had to act quickly to manage the virus and create an action plan.

He also had to battle through chaotic bureaucratic red tape in order to facilitate widespread testing – no easy feat!

Ultimately, Cuomo showed us all how being vulnerable as a leader can help win over the masses.

His story demonstrates that despite all the challenges one might face when tackling tough obstacles on a global scale, dedicating yourself to the job at hand pays off both emotionally and professionally.

The Federal Government’s Misinformation Resulted in Fatal Errors That Severely Undersold the Coronavirus Threat in New York City

What many people didn’t know was that the coronavirus had already been circulating in New York weeks before the outbreak was even reported on March 1.

The New York State government was notified of the first case, but unsuspecting New Yorkers were still unaware of its presence – even Governor Cuomo’s office had issued a statement saying it wasn’t a matter of if, but when.

Unfortunately, misinformation from the federal authorities led to a series of unfortunate consequences – they warned Americans it was coming from China and entering through West Coast when in fact it had come from Europe.

Testing also only targeted symptomatic travelers from Wuhan, leaving thousands undetected.

As a result, public-health agencies were operating with a false sense of security – the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an global emergency as early as January 30th, but it wasn’t until San Francisco declared one on February 10th that concern began to spread across the state.

The truth is that the virus was already circulating in New York before anyone realized what was going on- and if not for this misinformation, public health agencies would have been far better equipped to handle pandemic when it finally did hit.

Cuomo’s Critical Communications Lesson: Accurate Information Delivered without Fear is Key in a Crisis

Critical Communications

When faced with a crisis, it’s essential that leaders effectively communicate the necessary information while avoiding creating fear.

This was something Governor Cuomo of New York State realized when he held his first press conference about the arrival of COVID-19 in the city.

He sought to provide accurate and unbiased data to explain the virus and its progress, but also knew that he had to be careful not to raise alarm.

Cuomo had seen firsthand how mishandling such situations could lead to chaotic responses from the public.

He remembered a hurricane warning in the Southeast when people rushed out in a panic, driving recklessly as they attempted to flee.

To prevent anything similar from occurring due to the coronavirus situation, Cuomo made a conscious effort to use simple language that avoided provoking shock or fear.

Unfortunately, Cuomo made one critical mistake throughout this process – when talking about establishing a “containment zone” around New Rochelle, he failed to make it clear that the goal was containing the virus rather than confining people into their homes – thus prompting panic among residents of New Rochelle instead.

This mistake provided valuable insight for Cuomo on how easily miscommunication can cause panic and alarm, something all leaders need to keep in mind when handling any major crises.

New York Leads the Way in Testing for COVID-19 by Designing Their Own Test

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, it quickly became clear that testing would be a critical tool in slowing the spread of the virus.

However, testing in the United States was complicated because there was no unified national testing system – private laboratories purchased machines specifically for their own use and then acquired materials that were only compatible with their specific machine.

This resulted in what could best be described as a “bureaucratic nightmare”, making it difficult for states to scale up testing when it was needed most.

That’s why New York State took matters into their own hands early on in the crisis – they became the first state in America to make their own COVID test.

The problem with tests at this time was that results usually took days to come back and false positives were common, so creating a reliable test with accurate results and quicker turnaround times was vital.

To do this, New York State came up with a new version using chemical reagents which had better reliability at identifying positive cases of coronavirus, but also accessing supplies from commercial suppliers so they could create enough tests without hindrance from bureaucratic blockages.

New York State led the way in this area, becoming the first state to have its own test kit which produced results within 24 hours, proving invaluable throughout the pandemic by helping leaders make timely decisions based on factual information gathered through increased levels of testing.

The Coronavirus Pandemic Showed Why Every Country Needs a Strong Public Health System

Health System

The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States revealed a crucial truth: why a country needs a strong and functional public health system.

When the virus began to spread rapidly throughout the nation, it became abundantly clear that the US was not prepared to deal with a healthcare emergency of this magnitude.

For instance, state governments were left scrambling to implement their own health responses despite having inadequate resources and personnel.

It exposed a glaring lack of adequate hospital beds, medical supplies, and personnel – not to mention an absence of coordination between public and private hospitals throughout the country.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly realized that he needed to boost hospital capacity by 50% if they had any chance of containing COVID-19’s spread.

This was no easy task considering there were many hospitals working independently from one another across the state.

The Power of Vulnerability: How Governor Cuomo Showed His True Self to Gain Public Support During the Coronavirus Crisis

When facing a crisis, the best way to gain public support is to show true emotion and compassion.

This was clearly demonstrated by Governor Cuomo of New York during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo was open and vulnerable with his feelings while addressing New Yorkers; even during times of heightened anxiety.

He wanted to express that he shared their feelings, making them feel seen and understood.

Furthermore, Cuomo showed his emotions when implementing Matilda’s Law – named after his 86 year old mother – and implored citizens to show their loved ones how much they cared for them too.

By showing authentic emotion and compassion, Secretary Cuomo won the public’s trust and prompted them to follow his plan of action to keep everyone safe from the virus.

This strategy was crucial in helping him lead through the difficult times created from this global crisis.

Donald Trump Underestimated the ComplexPolitics of the Covid-19 Pandemic—Until Andrew Cuomo Showed Him Otherwise

From the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, President Donald Trump had one priority above all others: reopening the American economy.

Despite numerous requests for federal assistance from governors across the United States, Trump refused to intervene and ignored pleas from Governor Cuomo of New York.

This lack of action showed that his sole priority was to kickstart the economy.

Moreover, when it appeared that New York had reached its peak in terms of cases, Trump sought to reopen society immediately, despite this being illegal according to law.

He thought he had total authority to make decisions concerning how states were reopened.

However, with help from New York’s governor and counsel from White House lawyers, Trump finally admitted that only governors could authorize their own plans for reopening their state economies safely and efficiently.

Governor Cuomo Tries to Keep New York Safe and Protests Just in the Wake of George Floyd’s Death

New York

After the news of George Floyd’s death spread across the US, New York became faced with both a social and public health crisis.

Governor Cuomo and his team had been hurriedly preparing for the reopening of New York just days prior to this event, when they saw the video of George Floyd’s death on CNN that morning.

Cuomo knew he needed to act as a leader in this situation and stand up for justice.

As such, he publicly expressed support for protesters while carefully balancing safety and social distancing measures.

To protect against the COVID-19 epidemic from becoming worse, Cuomo issued executive orders to make tests available to protesters and enforce masks wearing in places of business.

Though protests caused an influx of people in large groups which posed risks for furthering spread of Covid-19, due to holding demonstrations outdoors and personal hygiene precautions like mask-wearing, these exercises were manageable.

Above all else however was Cuomo’s hope to bring his state together in a moment of division; to restore order and humanity by promoting democracy and recognizing America is at a turning point.

In Times of Crisis, People Unite and Achieve the Impossible

The key message from the book American Crisis is that the unity of New Yorkers in response to COVID-19 had an enormous impact on reducing the number of cases across the state.

The United States has been characterized by inequality and division for years, and this became evident when looking at infection rates across different communities.

In New York, Elmhurst—a community mostly composed of lower-income families and immigrants with little access to healthcare—was one of hardest hit areas early on with an alarmingly high 50% infection rate.

Experts believed that flattening the curve may be impossible given these conditions.

However, when Governor Cuomo put a call out for retired medical professionals to return and serve as well as for medical students who hadn’t yet graduated to help, an amazing 100,000 health-care professionals answered the call – including 30,000 from outside New York!

This inspiring act of unity brought a newfound confidence in what people could and would achieve together in fighting COVID-19.

Thanks to all those who stepped up to fight and help lower the number of cases in New York – they made “the impossible” possible!

Wrap Up

The American Crisis by Andrew Cuomo offers a comprehensive look at how leaders manage crises.

Through the lens of Governor Cuomo’s coronavirus response in New York, the book highlights the importance of responsibility and preparation for leaders when it comes to facing any crisis.

The fundamental takeaway from the book is that having a solid plan in place and the courage to take action is essential for leaders.

It is also crucial for them to focus on their key responsibilities and remain positive during times of crisis.

Without these qualities, it will be difficult to effectively handle any problem that arises.

This message is further reinforced by Andrew’s story: despite being faced with unknowable circumstances caused by incorrect information given from federal authorities, he and his team managed to create their own tests and health coordination system; all while staying focused and positive.

In conclusion, The American Crisis provides an invaluable lesson on leadership in times of emergency.

It serves as a reminder that courage and positive thinking can go a long way when it comes to facing a difficult situation.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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