Americans have watched New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the leader of the U.S. epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, with their breath held as he jumps among crises—and he’s earned admiration for his handling. In the past weeks, the governor has announced a hospital networking plan, 50,000 donated test kits, 1,000 additional ventilators and the arrival of 1,000 healthcare personnel to the state.
Most recently, Cuomo has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to use this crisis as a catalyst to reimagine education in the state. “Let’s start talking about really revolutionizing education,” he says. “It’s not about just reopening schools. When we are reopening schools, let’s open better schools and a smarter education system.” Cuomo has held firm throughout the crisis that New York will reopen when it is safe, citing “there is no dollar figure to human life.”
But more than the accolades, Cuomo has won over his people with direct speeches and human empathy. “My mother is not expendable, and your mother is not expendable, and our brothers and sisters are not expendable,” he said in March. Cuomo makes frequent addresses that are full of specifics, replayed countless times beyond New York.
“We’re going to make it because I love New York, and I love New York because New York loves you,” he says. “New York loves all of you. Black and white and brown and Asian and short and tall and gay and straight. New York loves everyone. That’s why I love New York.” And as our country’s newly sparked #cuomocrush continues, the feeling is mutual.