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COVID-19: Cuomo Slow To React To Pandemic, But Then 'Got Most Of It Right,' Analysis Says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was slow but has handled the COVID-19 pandemic since getting up to speed, a new report found. Photo Credit: Gov. Andrew Cuomo via Facebook
New York has succeeded in flattening the curve after an initial spike. Photo Credit: ny.gov

A new analysis determined that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted slowly to the COVID-19 outbreak when it started spreading in early March, but has since gotten “most of it right.”

Cuomo, who has become a national figurehead at the forefront combating COVID-19, has largely drawn praise for his handling of the outbreak, though some have been critical of him, specifically his handling of cases spreading in nursing homes.

In the new Vox report, experts said that “Cuomo and other New York leaders were initially slow to react to the coronavirus, letting the pathogen spread rapidly through the population before the state closed down.

“Some of that was due to a lack of understanding of the disease early on, but there were also steps Cuomo and others, experts argued, should have known to take even back then.”

However, the experts continued to say that “once New York’s leaders and the public acted, they did a lot of things right, from social distancing to testing to masking.”

“Early on, there were a lot of stages that could have been the canary in the coal mine for them — to start creating mitigation or containment strategies — that I think were missed,” Makeda Robinson, an infectious disease expert at Stanford said. “But I do think once they got the fire lit under them, they did an excellent job implementing all these strategies.”

The report notes that while Cuomo and New York health officials were initially slow to react to the virus rapidly spreading throughout the state, some of it is the fault of the federal government, which made missteps in the virus’ infancy.

“Experts widely agree Trump was slow to acknowledge the crisis and moved far too slowly, contradicting expert advice even after it was clear that coronavirus was a real and present threat,” the report states. “His actions made things harder for New York — adding another reason that the state initially struggled with the coronavirus, and many other states continue to do so.

“Still, New York also shows that action is possible even under Trump’s flailing. Cuomo could and did issue a stay-at-home order and mask mandate without federal intervention.”

The complete report can be found here.

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