New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) confessed that “we all failed” at making coronavirus projections, and refused to “guess” when New York City would be able to meet benchmarks to reopen.
Asked by a reporter on Monday for an estimate of when New York City can reopen, Cuomo did what he rarely does … he admitted he has made mistakes.
“Now, people can speculate. People can guess. I think next week, I think two weeks, I think a month,” the governor said. “I’m out of that business because we all failed at that business. Right? All the early national experts. Here’s my projection model. Here’s my projection model. They were all wrong. They were all wrong.”
‘We were all wrong’
Saying he “didn’t want to guess” because of previous wrong estimates, Cuomo said, “There are a lot of variables. I understand that. We didn’t know what the social distancing would actually amount to. I get it, but we were all wrong. So, I’m sort of out of the guessing business, right?
“We watched the numbers. We prepare as the numbers drop, so when the number actually hits the threshold, we’re ready to go,” he said. “We just finished that. We’re in the midst of that with Long Island, Mid-Hudson region, etc. But… I don’t want to guess.”
As the coronavirus curve “flattens,” Governor Cuomo is facing more and more scrutiny over his handling of the pandemic in New York.
By far, New York has suffered more infections and deaths than anywhere else in the country. Cuomo has been overestimating his needs from the very start, most famously his insistence on getting 40,000 ventilators when he ended up needing only about 25 percent of that.
Not his only mistake
Earlier this month, Cuomo quietly changed a policy that required nursing homes to accept patients that had tested positive for COVID-19 from hospitals. Thousands of deaths among the vulnerable nursing home population have now been linked to that order.
The new policy states that they have to test negative before being returned but prior to that, nursing homes and like facilities had to take patients back from hospitals even if they were still testing positive but not showing any symptoms.
Cuomo has blamed that policy on guidance from the CDC, but there’s more to it than that.
The CDC guidelines permitted nursing homes to accept patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 “as long as the facility can follow CDC guidance for Transmission-Based Precautions,” and further recommended that “if possible, dedicate a unit/wing exclusively for any residents coming or returning from the hospital.”
Facilities who were unable to properly quarantine ill individuals should never have been forced to accept COVID-19 cases — especially when New York City had temporary hospitals going unused. The U.S.S. Comfort hospital ship, which has 1,000 beds, only cared for 182 patients before moving elsewhere. A field hospital in Brooklyn never had a single patient, while others were barely used.