Former Gov. Dick Codey (D-Roseland) gave Govs. Phil Murphy and Andrew Cuomo high marks for their response to the COVID-19 crisis, though New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio got a less-than-stellar review.
“Cuomo, I’ve always said he eats snails for breakfast. He’s just kind of a rough, tough guy — never really favors smiles … When do you see this guy smile and laugh? never, but he’s come across as ‘I’m in charge, and I’m going to do this the right way, and I’m your leader,” Codey said. “Murphy’s saying that, but doing it in a different kind of a way.”
The two governors head states that boast the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the nation.
Codey, a state senator, gave Murphy particular praise for taking control of the state’s response to the pandemic not long after he had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on his left kidney.
“Just coming out of cancer surgery, your brain is not exactly where you would want it to be when you’re faced with a situation like this. He had no choice,” Codey said. “Despite that, he comes across as very knowledgeable, understands what he’s doing, good attitude in terms of the way he handles himself and the way he comes across.”
Murphy had his tumor removed on March 4. He was discharged days later on March 8.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver handled the state’s daily COVID-19 briefings until he returned to take helm of the briefings on March 13, a little more than a week after his major surgery.
He was working out of the public eye before that point and has, in the weeks since, spent long days dealing with the crisis.
Though Codey had praise for the governors of New York and New Jersey, he had none to spare for New York City’s mayor.
“De Blasio? Forget about it. He can’t stop walking on himself,” Codey said. “He doesn’t look like he’s in command, and he doesn’t have a concise message to give people.”