Thursday, April 2, 2020

Crisis Leadership: New York City Style

Credit to the Washington Post for undertaking the arduous and thankless task of collecting Comrade Bill de Blasio’s comments on the coronavirus. Over the past few months, until rather recently, Comrade Bill was offering some seriously wrong-headed information. 

Did that contribute to the fact that New York City is now the epicenter of the American pandemic? We report. You decide.

So, the Washington Post:

Throughout the crisis that has now hit New York City harder than any other area of the country, de Blasio offered comments that, like Trump’s, downplayed the threat and suggested that the city was ready for what lay ahead. The mayor also repeatedly told people that transmission of the disease was very unlikely in casual encounters and in public places.

The mayor said Feb. 26 of the city’s 1,200 hospital beds: “We’ve got a long time to ramp up if we ever had anything like that [kind of crisis]. So, the capacity we have right now is outstanding given the challenge we’re facing right now.”

How is that one working out?

Today, a little more than a month later, the resources of New York City hospitals are stretched, and both de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) are pleading with the federal government for more ventilators and other medical equipment.

In the weeks in between, de Blasio repeatedly said the coronavirus was transmitted through prolonged, close exposure and played down the idea that it could travel via casual encounters or touching surfaces that an infected person had touched.

“Occasional contact, glancing contact, temporary contact does not, from everything we know about coronavirus, lead to transmission,” he said March 3. “It needs to be prolonged, you know -- if not intimate, at least prolonged, constant contact.”

Amazingly, few news outlets have called out the mayor for offering dangerously unscientific nonsense.

As a sidelight, David Goldman offers this testimony from Ground Zero-- that would be the New York Subway system. Under the aegis of Comrade Bill, the subways have become what Goldman calls a “squatter’s paradise:”

The clerk at the last local grocery that delivers fresh produce told me she was quitting. She was afraid to take the subway to work, because New York’s homeless have taken over the trains, as daytime temperatures hover around 6 degrees Centigrade. Homeless men living on subway trains were a nuisance before the epidemic as well as a health hazard. In January the corpse of an indigent man was found covered in bedbugs in a subway car.

With normal ridership down more than 90%, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is depending on a $4 billion bailout under the federal government’s aid package to pay interest on its bonds, and the homeless have turned the subways into a squatter’s paradise. New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio has a soft spot for the homeless and police don’t interfere. But that crowds out low-wage supermarket workers and puts the city’s food distribution at risk.


Sam L. said...

Makes me glad to be nowhere NEAR NYC.

UbuMaccabee said...

The bums will inherit the earth.