More than 32,000 New Yorkers have died from the coronavirus, a toll higher than any other state. New York also ranks second among the worst of the 50 states, in terms of deaths per million population. Only New Jersey did worse.
You wouldn’t know it, listening to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who boasts that his administration “tamed the beast”. Or the media praising and berating him claim with much lower death rates.
Cuomo does everything he can to cover up mistakes. He is blocking bipartisan efforts in Albany to investigate the deaths of thousands of elderly people in nursing homes ravaged by the virus.
Lawmakers must persevere and, in fact, broaden their investigation to include the poor performance of many state hospitals. On March 2, a day after the first case of the coronavirus was revealed in New York City, Cuomo told New Yorkers not to worry because “we have the best health care system on the planet.” He’s a whore. Patients treated for COVID-19 in hospitals here have died at more than double the national average. California has had more cases of the coronavirus than New York, but less than a third of deaths.
The press rarely puts the numbers into perspective, talking about positive cases but no death rates, increases but no totals. Looking at deaths per million shows that the biggest impact – the biggest failure – was the Northeast. New Jersey: 1,797 deaths per million population. New York: 1,689.
Florida, the target of several alarmist headlines, is down to 408 per million inhabitants. But Governor Ron DeSantis is a Republican and unlucky enough not to have a CNN anchor as a brother.
Cuomo is praised even after he and the Department of Health spent years stripping outskirts of New York City of sufficient hospital beds and equipment. There are five hospital beds per 1,000 people in Manhattan, but only 1.8 beds per 1,000 people in Queens and Brooklyn. The result? When the pandemic struck, these hospitals were quickly overwhelmed. The death rate for patients with COVID-19 at Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Hospital was 17%. At Coney Island Hospital, 41% of COVID-19 patients did not. You might as well be in a third world country.
New York State is even worse at protecting elderly residents of nursing homes from COVID-19. Florida and Texas, two more populous states, have recorded only a quarter of the number of nursing home deaths.
The numbers don’t lie. New York has not crushed the coronavirus. The virus has unnecessarily claimed thousands of lives in New York City, due to the mistakes of the Cuomo administration.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.