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New York: How NOT to Handle a Pandemic

A litany of failures in the Empire State.

Citizens of New York have been spun like a top in a whirlwind the past few months, trying to keep up with politics and procedures during the seemingly eternal time of big bad bug COVID-19. They’ve been told to visit Asian-American small businesses – especially restaurants – and been issued shelter-in-place edicts. Such orders have NYC police dispersing homeless camps, which seems grossly unproductive in tamping down the spread of said bug, as individuals now seek shelter in the subway system, contaminating commuters from boroughs hither and yon.

Add to this the strain of being the epicenter in a city where folks are stacked up on one another like Legos, with this invisible contagious little bugger running rampant, and criminals being let out of their cages – because that is a great idea. The constant bickering and name calling between those who must be obeyed is dismaying at best. No one likes it when mom and dad fight.

In February, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio dashed about with a magic wand, declaring, “We are open for business.” At an event in Flushing, Queens, he warbled, “In hard times, New Yorkers know to stand by their neighbors. We’re in Flushing today to embrace Asian-American-owned small businesses and say to all New Yorkers: New York City’s Chinatowns are open for business!”

As De Blasio tap-danced around virus landmines, his minion, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Raul Perea-Henze, confidently blathered:

“As the world grapples with coronavirus, the DeBlasio administration is waging the battle with facts, not fear. Thanks to the work of our agencies, New York City is prepared for coronavirus and open for business.”

And that was a load of crap.

Just ask the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, who was panicked about respirators and necessary supplies to treat those diagnosed with the contagion. A few weeks later, the lights on Broadway were extinguished, stay-at-home orders were in place, police were breaking up family gatherings and ticketing the public. Criminals were set free and roaming the streets so as not to catch COVID-19.

For the Sake of the Children

Fast forward to a city and state begging for assistance from the feds because they were in fact not prepared: Of 188,694 cases to date, 17,089 have recovered, while 9,385 have lost their lives. De Blasio now finds that earlier directives from his office were lacking the fact factor, which is perhaps why he overcompensates and oversteps his authority. The frustrated mayor, falling under the shadow of New York’s would-be hero, Cuomo, over the weekend declared schools would be closed in perpetuity. Sure, now that the curve is flattening and cases are dwindling, try reverse thinking once again, and keep folks in lockdown now that it’s safe to leave the building.

Invoking New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, De Blasio made a play for attention, stating, “Keeping schools closed will protect New Yorkers. Period. [We] are confident in the decision that we made.”

But … but … it’s not your call. That decision lies with the state of New York, and daddy wasn’t all too pleased with Mr. Bill.

“That’s his opinion. He didn’t close them, and he can’t open them.” Yes, of course, the good governor told every news outlet that was listening.

The Dead Beat Goes On

Americans have witnessed that our government is packed full of alarmists and deniers, and, frankly, once this pandemic passes, it will be hard to tell if our actions were the reason we survived to tell the tale or if we overreacted and killed the most robust economy in the world. New York City and state should have been the “ones to watch” as our largest metropolis and the state of preening health-care-oriented liberal leaders. Yet this country watched misstep after misstep, an extreme lack of preparedness, and two leaders bickering over who was right, wrong, in charge, or simply at large.

De Blasio failed miserably while Cuomo asked for the help of the federal government and President Trump – for the good of the order. Gaining popularity in the process was an added benefit to being human.


Read more from Sarah Cowgill.

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