I'm tempted to chalk this one up in the 'better late than never' column, but hoo boy. New York's erstwhile policies were so obviously reckless and idiotic that it's hard to assign any credit to Cuomo for finally replacing them in the second week of May. In fact, I'm inclined to react to the announcements below the same way I did when Cuomo finally told the public that the New York City subway system would be cleaned on a nightly basis: Wait, that wasn't already happening already, and it's taken you this long to get around to doing it? How? So gone are the days of mandatory admissions of COVID-positive nursing home residents returning from hospitals, and allowing asymptomatic nursing home employees with positive coronavirus diagnoses to show up for work:
NEW: All nursing home staff must now be tested for COVID twice a week.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 10, 2020
°This rule is not optional — it’s mandatory.
Any nursing home that fails to follow health procedures will lose their license.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 10, 2020
Remember: If a nursing home cannot provide adequate care, they MUST call the State Department of Health to transfer the resident.
The threatening and indignant tone is hard to swallow. The state of New York required nursing homes to take in residents with coronavirus, and explicitly permitted actively contagious COVID patients to work at those facilities, for months. Now here's Cuomo swooping in to clean up his mess, pretending like it's the nursing homes' fault that they were following state guidance all along. The data on how disproportionately lethal this disease is within nursing homes, which are populated exclusively with the most coronavirus-vulnerable people in our society, is really striking:
Adding PA/NJ/MA/FL:— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) May 10, 2020
On April 21, they had 4,110 nursing home deaths; all other 5,007. 45.1%
From April 21 to May 9 they had 6,853 nursing home deaths; all other 3,389. 66.9%
Today they reported a combined 312 nursing home deaths; all other 108. 74.3%https://t.co/udR43akdhy pic.twitter.com/pTX6ubD1p7
In any case, between the subway debacle, the taxation of healthcare workers who traveled to the state to help fulfill an urgent need, and this ungrateful wokeness, New York's leaders aren't exactly covering themselves in glory throughout this ordeal -- although everyone should be heartened by positive news like this:
In New York State, covid19 testing continues to expand while the overall positivity rate continues to fall. pic.twitter.com/Fe41UQ5UrM— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) May 9, 2020
The news is looking even better in Florida, where it looks increasingly like the media may owe Gov. Ron DeSantis an apology for their harsh criticism of his approach, as they clapped like trained seals at Cuomo, in spite of the unfolding disaster over which he was presiding:
Thank you @TuckerCarlson and Dr. Marc Siegel for sharing how my administration's actions to protect our seniors and most vulnerable in long-term care facilities early on during the #COVID19 pandemic was critical to flattening the curve in Florida. pic.twitter.com/jVsjqMugLW— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 9, 2020
Great news: May 7th represented the best testing day for Florida since the start of the #COVID19 pandemic. Florida received nearly 20,000 test results, which yielded only 358 new Florida cases and the lowest statewide positivity rate – 1.89% - on record for new cases. pic.twitter.com/XBSH4X1sVp— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 8, 2020
Some in the media continue to share deeply misleading statistics in an effort to make even the most careful and successful red states' reopening plans look like callous exercises in human death and misery. Writing at National Review, A.G. Hamilton exposes junk reporting and dispels myths:
(1) Given the incubation period and a lag in testing, new cases that are identified on a certain day are unlikely to have any relationship to policies implemented days earlier. (2) “New cases” is a very misleading metric because it does not account for increases in testing. The rate of positive tests in Texas has declined significantly. Mainstream outlets have attempted to tie new cases and deaths to recent re-opening actions in Florida, Georgia, and Texas, despite it being clear that any spike in cases or deaths would not be apparent for weeks after such policy changes. Such actions could lead to a spike in new cases, but trying to tie them to those seen right now is clearly incorrect.
In addition, members of the press continue to conflate reporting of new cases with a growth in the rate of new cases. The New York Times and Axios have both recently published charts showing large increases in new cases around the country when New York is excluded from the data (though the latter has since updated its article containing such a chart to account for criticism similar to my own). Those outlets and other members of the press then wrongly used the charts to justify claims that the number of new cases is not going down and the “U.S. curve isn’t bending.” These charts do not account for massive increases in testing throughout the country. Charting [that data accurately]...makes it clear that the rate of new cases is actually decreasing.
Americans are owed sober, serious, nuanced, apolitical coverage of a deadly pandemic. Too many in the news media are proving themselves incapable of achieving that crucial mission, which is why public trust in the press is so abysmally low. Journalists are richly earning the distrust they lament.
Editor's Note: Want to support Townhall so we can keep telling the truth about China and the virus they unleashed on the world? Join Townhall VIP and use the promo code WUHAN to get 25% off VIP membership!