If New York Got a Late Start, Then Trump Hasn’t Even Started Yet

One of President Trump’s current attempts to dodge accountability is to blame New York’s spiking COVID-19 deaths on its late start.

New York — and the nation, and the world — would have been far better off if Andrew Cuomo had imposed a shut-down on March 7, when he declared an emergency. But that was six days before Trump declared an emergency, perhaps because he was busy throwing a party on March 7 at which COVID was probably spread among his guests.

New York would have been far better off if it had imposed a state-wide shutdown instead of imposing a containment zone in New Rochelle on March 10. It would have been better off had Cuomo issued a stay-at-home order on March 16 instead of simply shutting down non-essential businesses and canceling gatherings of more than 50 people. But from that day on, Cuomo’s measures were more severe than anything Trump has recommended, which to this day only recommends seniors and those with pre-existing conditions stay at home.

It was probably too late when Cuomo issued a full stay-at-home order on March 20. Nevertheless, it was just one day after California’s, the only earlier full-state stay-at-home order, and it was actually before Washington’s (Tuesday Dr. Birx repeatedly commended Washington’s response).

So yes, New York didn’t respond as early as it should have (and Bill De Blasio in particular was irresponsible and slow).

But New York has always been — and remains — far ahead of what Trump has done.

So if Trump wants to accuse New York of responding slowly, he should first explain why he has always lagged New York’s response.

34 replies
  1. John Forde says:

    I keep wondering why Trump does anything that invites comparison with Cuomo. I would love to see video of their press conferences – jump cuts back and forth between real leadership and fake leadership. What a contrast!

    • CCM says:

      Full sentences and an adult vocabulary. Makes for a good world’s tallest dwarf comparison (apologies to all the little people out there, I realize this may be politically incorrect, but this is a great old saying and I am not ready to give it up. Moderator please delete if too many dwarves complain,)

    • BobCon says:

      A few reasons.

      One is that he knows that the press, in its toxic preference for balance over truth, will make him look better and Cuomo look worse.

      Two, he knows that the press has a toxic preference for drama over truth. Meaning that they will focus on superficial aspects of the rivalry over any substantial issues.

      Third, he knows the press has a toxic allergy to long term thinking, and pushing this up front means they will forget everything before.

  2. Peterr says:

    I don’t seem to remember Cuomo standing at a podium declaring that this virus would miraculously disappear in April when the weather gets warmer.

  3. Mitch Neher says:

    Trump is running for re-election (and that’s all that Trump is doing) against almost any number of opponents in addition to Governor Cuomo who are not even candidates for The Office of The President in the year 2020.

    Trump deserves that fate. Trump has earned it.

    P. S. Running for re-election is neither “a response” nor “an earlier response” to a pandemic illness.

    • P J Evans says:

      Trmp is running against both Obama and Clinton – still – along with all other Dems who have any power at all.

    • Bardi says:

      trump is running against going to jail, first. He is desperate to stay out of jail, and, likely, will do anything.

      • SMD says:

        Well, we’ll see if goes to jail. So far he’s been impervious to obstruction of justice and now, mass murder, in my opinion, by choosing who will receive “the king’s” help.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Would it be appropriate to ask Where in the World is Joe Biden? Trump’s daily campaign rally, disguised as a coronavirus update, is making him inconsequential. There need to be frequent, fact-based, competent counterpoints to Trump’s lies. If not, exhaustion and apathy will rule the election and we’ll have four more years of this man-child’s chaos.

    • Geoff says:

      That, plus when he does briefly emerge, he tells us we can’t have nice things (ya know, like universal health care) despite the now obvious BS that we can’t afford them. Worse than useless.

    • P J Evans says:

      He issued a new ad YESTERDAY. You don’t see him because he isn’t “news” enough for the networks.

    • Rayne says:

      No. It’s not appropriate. It means you’re not looking very hard. It also means the media has been hornswaggled just as it was in 2016 by giving Trump all kinds of media coverage while forgetting there’s still a primary underway. They even know it’s a problem but they just can’t break their habituation.

      Ask Where in the Fuck is the Media Coverage for Democrats as a whole.

      • Peterr says:

        Right now, the media is looking at people who are in office. Yes, Trump’s faux briefings are more campaign events than updates on the latest COVID-19 news. But MSNBC also devotes hours of airtime to covering Cuomo’s daily pressers, too. Dropping in from morning to night are governors, mayors, county executives, and all manner of other officeholders, and the focus of the conversation is on what is happening in their locations, what may happen tomorrow and next week, and what these folks are doing (or trying to do) about it.

        During the impeachment trial in the Senate, Biden could campaign all over the country while the senators running against him had to stay in DC for the trial. The fact he wasn’t in office right now worked in his favor. Now, however, the shoe is on the other foot. He can’t get much airtime because the focus is on officeholders rather than office-seekers.

        To the extent that I’ve got a beef about the coverage, it’s that it seems to be so east-coast focused. Save for the arrival of the cruise ship in Oakland a couple of weeks ago and the arrival of the military hospital ship in LA, there’s been damn little coverage of California or the state of Washington, where COVID has been around at least as long as it has been in NY. MI’s governor has gotten more coverage than they have, but even there, her “newsworthiness” seems to be at least as much tied to Trump’s sexist comments about her, rather than the spread of the disease in MI.

        • BobCon says:

          The East Coast bias is all about where the top producers and editors cluster. It’s hard to overstate how insular these people are.

          • Greg Hunter says:

            This is exactly it…Covid wasn’t really a story until NYC got the brunt. The Manhattan Enquirer has done America no favors either.

    • Manwen says:

      It is very early in the election cycle. The public is looking for the government to satisfy its first order needs. Biden might be wise to let Trump do what Trump is going to do. Politically, it might be inadvisable to look like you are taking advantage of the situation, especially in a climate where the public might slowly shift in mood for competence over partisanship. Trump is playing into Biden’s hands by revealing himself to be what they do not want or need. As the gruesomeness of the months ahead take hold, Biden can let reality campaign against Trump for him while the public clamors for competence. The, the old white knight sallies forth. He, with knowledge, trust, and a cohort of the best people working together can fix that which Trump alone has broken. End of story. Not a bad campaign move. He has no power right now. HIs access to realtime knowledge is limited. An excellent piece in Politico comparing Trump to Hoover. Both had a moment that they appeared the perfect fit for their time as Presidential candidates. Events undo both as the USA seeks something different than an emotional venting machine. They now need ventilating machines and the great negotiator’s answer is good luck, governors. That is not the right answer as the more continue to die and the economy slides toward depression. Biden might be smarter than all of us.

      • Chetnolian says:

        That was my thought as well. What would Biden say if he spoke at the moment? He cannot PROVE Trump is failing, he has to wait for that and Trump, and the coronavirus, will do it for him. Let it roll out and say something when it matters.

        • Rayne says:

          5000 deaths so far isn’t proof enough Trump is and has failed? Good god, how many deaths do you need for your pyre?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Well, then, perhaps Joe is not the right nominee. But since he’s the apparent front runner, he might bail out his campaign boat before the water is over the gunwales. Then there’s the imagery, which is about the only thing Trump is good at. Joe’s is beginning to suggest mild-mannered passivity, which is not a good trait when the sky is falling.

          • posaune says:

            Senator Warren revealed exactly how FEMA “outbid” MA for respirators and ventilators.
            And received nothing.

      • Tom says:

        “The old white knight sallies forth …” Like Don Quixote? Actually, I’ll be curious to see how President Trump handles his daily briefings as the death toll mounts, even as he is speaking, making his attempts to stick a happy face on the whole shambolic way he and his administration have handled their response to the pandemic look all the more grotesque.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I’m not suggesting Biden campaign as usual or just point out Trump’s manifest failings and say I told you so. I’m suggesting he – and the Democrats – counter Trump’s lies and tell the public what it should be seeing in their president. Joe seems to have empathy, for example, but plans and policies and factual corrections of Trump’s key lies would help, I’m concerned that he’s not doing that because, while his execution might be vastly better than Trump’s, his plans might be too timid to manage this crisis and its aftermath. If so, I’m not sure what choice that leaves anybody.

      That said, America sorely needs competent leadership. Biden needs to portray why it would find it in him. He needs to show what he would do were he in charge. The odd speech and a little twitter coverage won’t make up for Trump’s Daily Brief.

      And, yes, the media is just replaying its 2016 coverage of Trump’s antics, which is itself propaganda and worth a mint in free PR to Trump. If it promotes mindless rallying round the flag – in a Rumsfeldian version of managing a crisis with the president you have rather than the one you need – the Pentagon will need to order more body bags. Trump demonstrably cannot rise to the occasion, chaos makes him comfortable, he can justify anything after the fact, and he’s vindictive as hell.

    • SMD says:

      FEMA grabbing protective gear bought by a state who was told they were on their own is criminal. (But what about Trumpmob isn’t criminal?) FEMA is paid for tax dollars for American citizens. I predict this will backfire on Trump bigly. There will be no economy and lots of young and healthy people who are pissed off when this shakes out. Better for Joe to stay safe, let this incompetent ball keep rolling and just watch for now. Just my opinion.

  5. Duke says:

    This is in affect a growing nation wide strike.

    The level of impact on the individual and group mental health is massive. United States of PTSD.

    HEY! We have a CEO running the country and this what your life is like with titans of corporate America who have always intended – PROFITS vs. PEOPLE.

    Can’t wait until the Fourth of July

    • Rayne says:

      We have a fundamental problem. Trump is allowed to call himself a CEO, a billionaire, a business success when the truth is that he isn’t any of those things.

      He’s a former reality TV star, a former pro-wrestling promoter, a beauty pageant owner. He’s a multi-bankrupt scammer. He’s a fucking con man.

      He’s not pushing for profits; he’s positioning himself to get a cut of the massive scam being perpetrated on the American public.

      And what we are suffering from isn’t just PTSD but cognitive dissonance because he LOOKS and ACTS like a con man but he’s in the White House.

  6. Das Robot says:

    Well, my SO and I have been in full disinfect mode for a few weeks now and she’s on Hospital call for six days and if there’s one thing more than any other that pisses me off is this garbage about people wearing masks. Cover your mug at all costs. They’ve been lying since day one about transmission and even bandanas work.

    Essentially fewer people have hoarded the masks and instead of everyone minimizing the spread by covering their mugs they’ve made sure a person who could have used one mask for a week is now being tended to by people who require 20-30 a day.

    If you go out I highly recommend covering your face to keep the spread down. It’s not to keep from getting it, it’s to keep from giving it.

    • Duke says:

      Most of the Deplorables bought the spin of the campaign as truth. I wish they had a better grip on reality.

    • P J Evans says:

      There are lots of instructions for making your own masks, including some that don’t require sewing, but materials are hard to get.
      Surplus stores will probably have bandanas.

  7. omphaloscepsis says:

    New York City has a web page with plots and several PDFS, downloadable or readable on-line, updated at least daily.

    Queens borough has a case density of about 720 per 100,000 people, a rate that is 3 times higher than Spain, and even higher than Switzerland and Italy, the three countries with the highest rates in Europe.

    The NYC web page also has a plot of daily hospitalizations. The graphs on the page are for the combined 5 boroughs. The PDFs have data for each borough.

    The hospitalization PDF indicates that from 18% to 28% of cases have led to hospitalization so far. At some point they reach saturation, or maybe already have.

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