NYC Health Commissioner Told De Blasio to Get Serious on Efforts to Stop Wuhan Coronavirus Spread. He Refused.

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 6:05 PM
NYC Health Commissioner Told De Blasio to Get Serious on Efforts to Stop Wuhan Coronavirus Spread. He Refused.

Source: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticizes President Trump over his response toward fighting the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., but he should probably look in the mirror. For starters, the American people approve of how the Trump White House has handled this crisis. Second, it appears as if New York City’s council members were more concerned about being politically correct than preparing for how to handle the outbreak. Chinese New Year was celebrated, which exposed countless people to the disease. We have well over 180,000 cases and approaching 4,000 deaths, most of which come from the Tri-State area. Over half of all Wuhan virus cases in the country come from New York City. Still, comrade Bill has to bash the president (via HuffPo):

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Sunday lashed out against President Donald Trump over his inadequate response to the coronavirus pandemic, stating more people will die if the president doesn’t take more action.

As of Sunday, about one-third of the United States’ nearly 27,000 confirmed coronavirus cases were in New York City, de Blasio said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Hospitals across the state and country that are in short supply of ventilators and other medical equipment need to treat patients with the virus and Trump isn’t doing nearly enough to help them, the mayor added.

“The truth is, and New Yorkers and all Americans deserve the blunt truth, it’s only getting worse,” de Blasio said. “And in fact, April and May are going to be a lot worse.”

He continued: “The president of the United States is from New York City and he will not lift a finger to help his hometown. ... I can’t be blunt enough: If the president doesn’t act, people will die who could have lived otherwise.”

Well, first, those numbers have exploded since then and second, that's not true, Bill. Even CNN had to admit what Trump has done has saved millions of lives. 

Even in early March, de Blasio was telling people to continue to go out and eat (via Eater NY):

People should still be going out to eat at restaurants, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference about the new coronavirus on Wednesday — emphasizing that the virus “does not transmit through food and drink.”

A week into the first confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City, restaurateurs across the city say they’re already seeing reservation cancellations, while four huge dim sum restaurants in Sunset Park have closed in response to dropping sales as more people limit public outings.

In response to a question about how the city would help curb the economic impact, the mayor mentioned new no-interest loans for small businesses that experience a 25 percent decline or more due to new coronavirus. He also said that they’re “telling people to not avoid restaurants, not avoid normal things that people do.”

“If you’re not sick, you should be going about your life,” the mayor said.

That was posted on March 11.

NYC Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot made the rounds with old clips telling New Yorkers to keep using the subways and going about daily life. That was in February, and like Italy, which allowed the virus to run rampant for weeks before they locked this down, it was too late. On March 10, Barbot urged the mayor to clamp down hard to prevent the spread. De Blasio refused (via Politico):

New York City’s top health officials were tracking warning signs of the flu, and didn’t like what they were seeing: A massive, late-season spike in influenza-like-illnesses that revealed a troubling aberration.

So on March 10, Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot went to City Hall to share the findings with Mayor Bill de Blasio and urge him to begin taking more drastic action to control the spread of the coronavirus, which has since claimed 450 lives across New York City. De Blasio resisted, believing that closing schools, restaurants and cultural centers would cripple the city’s economy and disproportionately hurt the marginalized residents he aims to prioritize.

What followed was a week of mixed messages, delayed decisions and feuds that escalated to what one person described as “warfare” amongst city officials, all while the federal government withheld critical aid to New York and Gov. Andrew Cuomo grappled with whether to impose draconian mandates.

A week later, the mayor began following most of Barbot’s advice, after plodding through a decision-making process that was described by people involved as tense, laborious and rife with conflict. As he huddled in City Hall with top aides, contending with how to handle the biggest crisis of his tenure, residents of one of the most densely-populated cities in the country continued to cram into subway cars, dine in restaurants and pop into their local watering holes — something de Blasio encouraged only hours before he ordered them shut on March 15.


“I think in retrospect we deliberated too long on the various shutdown steps,” City Council Member Mark Levine, who chairs the health committee, said in an interview. “We’re racing against the clock in slowing the spread of this, and even a day or two can change the trajectory.”


…the mayor vented his frustration at the ordeal.

“This whole godforsaken experience has been a learning curve,” he said on his weekly radio interview on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show.“ “None of us have been through anything like this.”

What a mess and now there are reports that officials at the city’s health department threatened to resign over comrade Bill’s incompetence (via NY Daily News):

Leadership at the city’s health department threatened to resign over Mayor de Blasio’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, The Daily News learned.

The unrest between the department and City Hall began shortly after New York’s first case of the coronavirus two weeks ago and top health officials threatened to step down as recently as last week, sources said.

At least one deputy commissioner and multiple assistant commissioners in the Health Department warned they would resign over de Blasio’s mismanagement and reluctance to take the advice of doctors in his own administration, according to an agency source.

The threat came while health officials tried to push de Blasio into taking a bolder approach to stop the spread of the potentially deadly virus, including implementing stricter “social distancing” measures, sources said.

Yeah, but keep blaming Trump, Bill. Because you’ve done such a top-notch job yourself.