New York City’s massive coronavirus outbreak was the primary source of infections across the entire country, The New York Times reports.
Researchers determined that travelers from New York seeded outbreaks in states like Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona before the city began to implement social distancing requirements.
“We now have enough data to feel pretty confident that New York was the primary gateway for the rest of the country,” Yale epidemiologist Nathan Grubaugh told the Times.
He estimated that 60-65% of cases stemmed from the New York outbreak.
But researchers argued that even if New York acted sooner and contained the spread, the virus likely would have continued to spread from elsewhere.
New York leaders delayed action:
The report comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have come under fire for delaying business and school closures as the outbreak spread and, in de Blasio’s case, for urging people to go out after the virus hit.
“It means that we missed the boat early on, and the vast majority in this country is coming from domestic spread,” Kristian Anderson, an immunologist at Scripps Research, told the Times. “I keep hearing that it’s somebody else’s fault. That’s not true. It’s not somebody else’s fault, it’s our own fault.”
NY blames Feds:
Cuomo spokesman Dani Lever blamed the federal response for the size of the New York outbreak.
Lever said it was an “enormous failure by the federal government to leave New York and the East Coast exposed to flights from Europe, while at the same time instilling a false sense of security by telling the State of New York that we had no Covid cases throughout the entire month of February.”