He phoned in to CNN today to respond to a new CDC study that confirmed that the virus was circulating in New York even before Trump issued his European travel ban on March 13. He’s made that point before as an excuse for his myriad failures in managing New York’s epidemic. Can’t blame me for all those people dying in nursing homes, he’s said. Blame Trump for not banning travel from hot spots abroad before foreigners could seed the epidemic in NYC.
“No,” Cuomo shot back. “Tapper’s point, as you just heard from the CDC report, Tapper should say that Trump is to blame for the virus coming to New York because that’s the fact. That’s what the CDC just said. If Trump’s government had done its job, the virus wouldn’t have come here.”
“Governors don’t do global pandemics,” Cuomo continued. “I was trying to explain that to Mr. Tapper. State governments don’t do global public health. That’s not in the state charter. The federal government does that. The virus didn’t come here because of anything New Yorkers did, the virus came here because the federal government missed it.”
I’m not going to rewrite this post from late June, which addressed that point at length. But I want to stress again how farcical it is that this guy, of all people, would take to lecturing others for having moved too slowly to limit the spread. Long investigative pieces have been written about his own catastrophic dithering in shutting down New York. Not only was he slow by the standards of Gavin Newsom in California, he was slow by the standards of Bill de Blasio. Here’s Pro Publica on where things stood on March 17, when a long, frustrating campaign by de Blasio’s health officials to try to convince the mayor that time was of the essence in locking things down finally paid off: