In Worst-Hit Covid State, New York’s Cuomo Called All the Shots

As part of the @WSJ’s COVID Storm series, I spent months with @joe_palazzolo & @jacobgershman looking at how @NYGovCuomo managed the early days of the pandemic.

Here’s what we found —>…
Cuomo and his small team took command of the Health Dept and overrode local govs that wanted to go beyond the state’s social distancing restrictions. That delayed the New York City shutdown and slowed the reaction time as the virus spread in nursing homes.…
Columbia University researchers estimated that 17,514 deaths in the metropolitan area could have been avoided if officials had instituted seven days earlier each of the social-distancing measures they eventually enacted.…
Cuomo’s aides said the state shut down as soon as possible, and that a few days delay didn’t make much difference.

“It’s because it was here for five weeks and nobody knew it,” Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s top aide, said.…
Now, the rate of positive coronavirus tests statewide—which topped 40% in April—has been under 1% for more than a month.

Mr. Cuomo and his aides have attributed those results to his tight control over the state’s reopening.…
From the beginning, @NYGovCuomo was focused on communicating with the public. While flying with him on the state plane on Feb. 9, he said panic can sometimes be worse than the underlying disaster.…
“When the governor got on the phone, he said, ‘Guys, don’t think this isn’t going to happen or that we’re being hysterical or foolhardy. This is what I want, and I want it by tomorrow.’”…
“It doesn’t matter what Andrew says. You’ve got to go out and fight for this,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed told @BilldeBlasio after @NYGovCuomo slapped down his “shelter in place” statement.…
.@BilldeBlasio was so concerned by the governor’s reaction that he asked a city lawyer whether the governor had the power to remove him from office, city officials said.…
After GNYHA President Ken Raske complained nursing homes were refusing to accept patients, Mr. Cuomo’s team approved an order from the NYSDOH which said nursing homes couldn’t refuse to admit patients simply because they had tested positive.…
On March 18, Cuomo issued an executive order mandating state approval of local orders.

“I found a hot spot, and they did nothing,” said Ed Day, the Republican county executive. “Guidance from Albany is a good idea. But ruling from Albany is not.”…
Cuomo was concerned about the ripple effects of closing the world’s financial capital. On Sunday March 15, the governor’s aides had helped the New York Stock Exchange keep its trading floor open by arranging for doctors to screen workers.…
While the rates of infection were starting to rise in Southern and Western states, the virus had loosened its grip on New York. The number of New Yorkers hospitalized had remained flat since the middle of May.…
In an Aug. 19 radio interview, Mr. Cuomo acknowledged making a litany of mistakes.

“We were late in finding the virus here,” said Mr. Cuomo, adding that he believed the federal government shared some blame. “The collective ‘we’ made many mistakes.”…

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More from @JimmyVielkind

9 Mar
Happy Monday

@NYGovCuomo just announced New York State has developed its own line of hand sanitizer.

It’s being produced by prison inmates. NY’s is 75%. Cuomo says we’re making 100,000 gallons per week.
Andrew Cuomo says there is a “floral bouquet” scent to the NYS hand sanitizer. He says this is much cheaper than other hand sanitizers on the market.

And if there’s price gouging, Cuomo WILL release this onto eBay and Amazon.

I don’t know if he’s joking or not.
A note: Cuomo says NY’s sanitizer is 75% alcohol. I guess most are 60%, so Cuomo says that NY’s is better.
Read 8 tweets

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