Cuomo finally admits COVID mistake: I should have mandated masks sooner, even though I did it before everyone else

I’m treating this as progress.

I mean, if I were him and someone asked me what my biggest mistake was, I would have said “Turning nursing homes into death factories.”


Or maybe “Doing nothing for weeks in March while the virus went apesh*t on New York City.”

But “Should’ve been slightly more proactive on masks” works too, as a baby step. He’s not going to admit he presided over an historic disaster on the first try.

We’ve got to let him build up to it psychologically.

“I was the first state in the nation to do masks, I should’ve done it earlier. I should’ve done masks earlier. That would’ve made a dramatic difference,” Cuomo told WAMC radio…

Cuomo also admitted “we were wrong” to say that asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 can’t spread the killer bug.

“That was just wrong,” the governor said, adding, “We spent months saying you have to be sneezed or coughed on. That was just wrong.”

Cuomo said he has now done his own research and that articles in a medical journal dating back to January and February showed there was evidence of asymptomatic spread.

But, said Cuomo, “that’s not really a state function, that’s really a federal function…with the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].”

So, of the two mistakes he admits, one is something on which he was ahead of the curve (of necessity, thanks to New York’s massive outbreak) and the other was really the feds’ fault. This is like a job interview where they ask you what your biggest fault is and you say “I’m a perfectionist.”

It’d be so easy for this guy to just come clean. “I made a lot of mistakes early on. We didn’t know what we were dealing with. We didn’t know how long the virus had been here. It was hard to imagine shutting down the entire state, something we’d never done even in times of war. I was told that hospitals would be overrun, there’d be so many sick people. That’s why I made nursing homes take back infected residents, because they could be cared for there and I thought we’d need every available bed in ICUs.” New Yorkers would forgive him for having done his best in an impossible situation. I think they’d appreciate the candor.


He can’t do it. Whether it’s a matter of pure ego or because the myth of Andrew Cuomo, COVID Churchill, is too far gone to be coaxed back into the bottle, he can’t. Instead he’s tweeting out crap like this:

He has a book celebrating his leadership on the pandemic coming out in less than two months. What the hell is he doing writing a book at “halftime”?

If you’re going to do that, at least do it when you’re up big going into the second half, not trailing 30,000 to 0.

Can’t argue with results, though. The master plan of letting everyone get infected and then doing an end-zone dance when they’re all either dead or immune has paid off:

After I wrote my post a few days ago about New York City possibly having herd immunity, a friend emailed me a link to this story at Gothamist ominously entitled, “‘We All Want To Pretend This Isn’t Happening’: Mask-Free Pandemic Parties Are Popping Up In NYC”. The date of that story? July 14. Six weeks later, with young idiots partying the summer away sans masks, there are still no outbreaks in New York. That curve is flat as a pancake.


The news lately is good elsewhere too. The “summer wave” in the south and California appears to be easing:

The Rona Viz site, which tracks the pandemic in all 50 states, reports that over the past week cases are down 17 percent in California, 25 percent in Georgia, 31 percent in Florida, and 34 percent in Alabama. Cases have fallen so far in Arizona over the past several weeks that today’s seven-day average now stands at about where it stood at the start of June. You look at a curve like this…

…and wonder if Arizona isn’t also well down the path towards herd immunity, with another massive outbreak unlikely to occur during the “second wave” this winter. The one outlier in all this improvement is Texas, where cases have slowed a bit but not dramatically like in the other summer hot spots. A mask mandate’s been in effect there for nearly two months now. Masks aren’t a panacea, clearly, even if they do help.

There’s more good news. Although cases of people recovering from COVID partially but never quite fully are numerous and alarming, doctors continue to get better at saving patients’ lives:

In Arizona, about 5 percent of those who tested positive for the coronavirus by the end of May died. The case fatality rate now is about half that figure. In California, the rate stood at 4 percent in late May, and is now 1.6 percent. In April, 7.5 percent of those who tested positive in Minnesota died, a rate that has fallen to 2.7 percent, according to The Hill’s analysis of state data.

Health experts pointed to several reasons for the decline: Doctors are learning about better methods of treating those who are ill. Those who contract the virus are now more likely to be younger, rather than older people who are most at risk of dying. And more widespread testing is identifying cases among those who show few or no symptoms.


Remdesivir and dexamethasone are helping as well. There’s also been interesting buzz lately about an idea that would break the back of the pandemic and let America return to something approximating normal many months before the vaccine is developed, distributed, and administered to a critical mass of the population. That’s DIY testing — on a massive, massive scale. A Harvard epidemiologist claims that a basically (not perfectly) accurate paper test can be mass-produced for less than one dollar apiece; instead of spending $2 trillion on secondary effects of the pandemic, the feds could spend a fraction of that cost to ensure that every American has, say, a two-month supply of tests. Every morning when you wake up, you take one. If you’re negative, go to work. If you’re positive, stay home for two weeks. Most infected people would be removed as vectors of transmission, bringing community spread to a near-halt. It’d be an ersatz vaccine.

Seems perfectly sensible, so … we’re definitely not going to do it. And even if we did, untold millions of idiots would either forget to take the daily test or would refuse on grounds that it’s an infringement of their liberty or something.

In lieu of an exit question, go read about what’s happening in Europe. Even when the virus is “gone,” it’s never really gone.

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