The cast and creators behind the NBC medical drama New Amsterdam gathered together for a virtual panel discussion as part of the ATX Television Festival on Saturday to address how the show hopes to tackle the ongoing issue of coronavirus once production resumes. Co-creator and star Ryan Eggold, who plays Medical Director Max Goodwin, spoke about the kind of opportunities the pandemic provides while offering a not-too-subtle jab at President Donald Trump.
"There is an opportunity to talk about leadership, and I think one of the areas where we've grown in the show, and one of the areas that we learned the most, is not making Max's solutions to these large, complicated problems too easy, too easily afforded or too simplified," Eggold said. Now, he wants to use the show, and Max, to "discuss solutions in a realistic way," which is when he at once praised New York Governor Andrew Cuomo while calling out Trump. "Not to get political, [but] Cuomo's leadership in New York, for example, is that he just says 'This is happening. First and foremost, here are the facts, these are the issues.' Whereas the national leadership, perhaps less so."
Executive producer Peter Horton, who also moderated the panel, asked Eggold how his character would regard the politicization of a pandemic. "I think Max would try to cut right through all the BS and all the crap and say 'How do I help people? How do we get care to people?' Which is sort of the opposite of what we've seen on the national stage," the actor replied. He went on to say that his character, much like himself, would see the political barriers as "a hindrance to doing the work that needs to be done." He added that he believes that New Amsterdam can help "provide a template, an example, for what good leadership might look like and what the best way to tackle issues and problems that can help everyone."
Back in March, the show's producers, along with NBC, elected to pull an episode of New Amsterdam that depicted a flu epidemic in New York City, believing was a little too close to current events. "Being sensitive to the current climate, the producers, network and studio have decided that the episode will not air on NBC on April 7 as previously scheduled."