I’m still not over this NY Times article I wrote about earlier. I’ve spent the last hour reading through the comments wondering if the Times’ readers would be upset that someone other than Trump was being blamed. I was pleasantly surprised to find that quite a few readers seemed pleased that Times had finally applied the same standard to state leaders it has been applying to Trump. Here are a few of the top comments:

  • This is an honest article about the worst area affected in the U.S. by the new CoronaVirus. I’ve seen countless articles about Trump’s incompetence and while all true, NY leaders have to take ownership of their part in this disaster and learn from it, because there will likely be a second wave of cases at some point.
  • There is nothing to explain New York’s skyrocketing rates of infections and deaths other than mismanagement at the highest levels. Cuomo demonstrated an early hubris…now he isadmitting his mistakes and playing contrite. De Blasio was always out of his league.The city is known for its arrogance and disregard for rules other “less cool and sophisticated” places adhere to. Well, this is the result.
  • Finally the mainstream media is catching up.Cuomo is taking so much credit and concealing responsibilities.
    – misinformed about airborne transmission
    -misinformed about asymptomatic carriers spreading the virus.
    California may be not as densely populated as NY, but they tackled the outbreak early on.
    Cuomo and De Blasio ignored the data from Italy and China.
    If schools and construction sites would have been closed earlier, along with bars and restaurants would NY have faced less cases and deaths?
  • Wow somebody FINALLY acknowledged that Cuomo/De Blasio waited way too long for lockdown/shelter in place efforts. Being good at mitigation and communication does not and should not excuse Cuomo’s earlier inaction. Thank you for true journalism.
  • Lately, Cuomo has been doing a good job managing a crisis that he helped to create, but even that has been over-rated due to what is basically slick marketing. DeBlasio has been an unmitigated disaster every step of the way, and many people have died, with many more still to come, as a result. And over the long term the economic damage to NYC and the entire metropolitan area will be at least an order of magnitude more than if he had been even minimally competent.
  • Results speak louder than words – and NY has clearly not succeeded.
  • The agonizing week it took to finally decide to close the schools, with neither Cuomo nor DeBlasio wanting to pull the trigger, was ridiculous. It’s the governors of Ohio, Washington and California who should be given air time every day. They got it, our leaders didn’t.
  • “Mr. de Blasio ordered schools in New York to close three days later” Not totally true. He did close schools for students on March 16, but made the teachers go in on the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Many of those teachers, including my wife, are now sick. There was no reason to force them to go in and put their lives at risk when there were many other alternatives.
  • I work as a teacher in a Bronx neighborhood right next to New Rochelle. Every day I would board extremely packed trains in Chinatow and commute through the upper Manhattan and Bronx neighborhoods that now have had explosions of COVID-19 cases and deaths. De Blasio should’ve closed the public schools!
  • I was bothered by the hyper-focus on the shortcomings in the federal response with almost nothing about the local issues. New York’s outbreak is 10 times worse than the next closest state, and that can’t all be the federal government’s fault.
  • The teachers union was begging DeBlasio to close the schools on March 9th when staff started coming down with the virus. Keeping the city open kept people on the commuter rails, subways and buses. Thus the huge numbers of infected in Westcheater, Nassua, Suffulk and North Jersey on top of the city count. The Federal government does not have the authority to close schools and cities, that power rests with mayors and Govenors. Just look at the number for the bay area in California. In this pandemic the area did fantastic, compared to New York.
  • I’m confused; I read this entire article and I hardly found any blaming of Trump. I was under the impression that everything horrible going on was Trump’s fault, but this article makes it seem as though other political leaders — and Democrats at that! — are also culpable.I can only assume Rupert Murdoch has secretly purchased the Times.

That last one is obviously sarcastic. And speaking of sarcasm, I have to wonder why the NY Times selected this comment as one of it’s recommended choices:

Cuomo and DeBlasio would not be in this situation if Trump invoked the Defense Production Act. It could make respirators and masks appear out of nowhere. But since he didn’t, people died.

No one has up-voted that comment but the NY Times is still highlighting it. I honestly can’t tell if the author meant it sarcastically. His reference to making ventilators “appear out of nowhere” sounds pretty absurd. So is the Times highlighting this because it’s absurd or because they think it reflects reality? I’m not sure which would be worse.

In any case, the piece that prompted all of this was on page 1 of the Times this morning so it was treated as a major story. Now that the Times has broken the ice on this topic I wonder if it will generate interest from major networks. Or will this be a case where it’s a one-day story and everyone returns to acting as if Trump was the Mayor of New York City and the Governor of the state by tomorrow?