No, Andrew Cuomo, losing Amazon was not New York’s worst tragedy

Superlative much?

No, Andrew Cuomo, losing Amazon was not New York’s worst tragedy
[Photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit/Flickr]

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took rhetorical superlatives to a new level today when he stated that Amazon’s decision to cancel a planned headquarters in Queens was a catastrophe with no equal.


“What happened is the greatest tragedy that I have seen since I have been in government,” Cuomo said in a radio interview, as tweeted by USA Today’s Jon Campbell.

The comment instantly drew mockery and scorn, with Twitter users rightly pointing out that Cuomo’s tenure in government coincided with such actual tragedies as 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. In fact, as my colleague Kathleen Davis pointed out, when Cuomo entered government (working for his father, former New York governor Mario Cuomo), the AIDS crisis was raging in full force.

According to the Democrat & Chronicle, Cuomo’s office tried to walk back the statement, clarifying that he was talking about “government failures,” not human tragedies.

But even by that measure, we were able to easily think of a number of government-led tragedies that were much much worse than a company not building a headquarters. For instance:

  • The Crumbling Subway
  • Rikers Island
  • Homelessness
  • Police Brutality
  • Pizza Rat
  • Skyrocketing Rents
  • Scaffolding
  • Beloved Restaurants Closing
  • Penn Station
  • Anthony Weiner

Those are just the ones to come out of a two-minute Slack discussion. Surely there are more. Can you think of any? Tweet us at #WorseThanLosingAmazon

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine