NOTE: The statistics reported in this commentary were the official numbers as of March 22.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio can go on his favorite cable news networks and point the finger of blame in all directions – especially at President Trump – but that does not explain what is happening in New York – City and State. It would seem that the greatest failure in America to anticipate and be prepared for an epidemic crisis are the Empire State’s political leaders and public healthcare community.
Why should one city – albeit America’s largest – account for nearly one-third of the victims of the Coronavirus in the entire United states. At the time of this writing there are approximately 41,000 cases of Coronavirus in the United states. There are more than 20,000 cases in the State of New York – with 16,000 of them in New York City (5% of the world). Size alone cannot account for that.
Just across the Hudson River from New York is New Jersey, which has just over 2,000 cases – and it is the state with the second most. That’s right. New York has approximately ten times the number of cases as the second-place state – and is not only an adjacent state, but literally a suburb for a lot of Manhattan workers.
Looking at the statistic another way, New York City – with approximately 16,000 cases — has nine times more cases of the Coronavirus than the entire State of California (1,800 cases). Washington State – where it all seemed to start for America – holds third place – behind New Jersey and ahead of California. New York has about eight times more cases than Washington.
With so many of the initial cases coming from China and Asia, in general, one might think that California and Washington would be two of the hardest hit states. But they do not even come close to New York City, alone. Even folks coming from Coronavirus-ravaged Italy cannot explain New York’s extraordinarily high number. However, it has been reported that the first recorded case came from a woman returning from Iran despite Trump’s efforts to ban travel from there.
With its usual political bias, the elitist east coast (New York) media is very kind to de Blasio. They give him airtime to whine and complain – and point the finger at the Trump administration. They do not ask him the tough questions. They do not wonder if closing the schools too late is a contributing factor. Was he too slow to quarantine? Was his own health department behind the curve? Was there a lack of effective emergency planning?
Rather than perform their journalistic function in a fair and honest way, the press attacks Florida’s Republican governor for not acting quickly enough. The Miami Herald editorialized on what the described as Governor Ron DeSantis egregious failure to act in a timely manner – then and now. It was consistent with the general practice of praising Democrat governors and mayors and criticizing Republicans in those positions – despite the facts.
The media focus on Florida – which is in eighth place in terms of the number of cases (1171) – demonstrates a political agenda. New York under Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo has 17 times that number – and the City of New York under Mayor de Blasio has 14 times that number. To pick out Florida, the press must skip over seven states – all with Democrat governors.
While we can all see the bias in the coverage – if we care to look – but that still does not explain why New York is so far in the lead in terms of cases and deaths. The public – especially New Yorkers – might be better served if Cuomo and de Blasio did more explaining and less accusing.
So, there ‘tis.