The Wuhan virus reveals the rot in America's Democrat-run cities

Last Friday, Bret Stephens, of the New York Times, had an epiphany: locking down America just because New York City is having problems is a bad idea.  He thinks the problem is that New York is so densely populated.  What he misses is that Mayor de Blasio's and Gov. Cuomo's policies exacerbated the virus.  They are the poster boys for why Democrats should never have power.

To his credit, Stephens finally realized that the Wuhan virus is not an American problem.  It's primarily a New York problem, followed by a handful of other Democrat-run cities:

As of Friday, there have been more Covid-19 fatalities on Long Island's Nassau County (population 1.4 million) than in all of California (population 40 million). There have been more fatalities in Westchester County (989) than in Texas (611). The number of Covid deaths per 100,000 residents in New York City (132) is more than 16 times what it is in America's next largest city, Los Angeles (8). If New York City proper were a state, it would have suffered more fatalities than 41 other states combined.

Having figured this out, Stephens reached the next logical point:

Americans are being told they must still play by New York rules — with all the hardships they entail — despite having neither New York's living conditions nor New York's health outcomes. This is bad medicine, misguided public policy, and horrible politics.

What Stephens missed, and what matters for the political choices voters make in November, is that New York's problem isn't just population density.  New York suffers from appalling political decisions at both the state and the local levels.

Probably the worst decision Governor Cuomo made was to force New York's nursing homes to accept people who tested positive for the Wuhan virus.  The people most vulnerable to the Wuhan virus are the elderly and the sick, so this decision turned nursing homes into charnel houses:

The Post reports that a Brooklyn nursing home that's seen New York's greatest number of COVID-related deaths (55, on the latest list) wrote the state Health Department on April 8 to plead for help.

Cobble Hill Health Center CEO Donny Tuchman e-mailed four officials to report that his facility had "over 50 symptomatic patients scattered through the building and almost no gowns" and warned, "There is no way for us to prevent the spread under these conditions."

His closing, in hindsight, is heartbreaking: "Is there anything more we can do to protect our patients and staff? Thank you for any help you could be."

Someone wrote back 20 minutes later — with a standard attachment offering advice on how to conserve personal protective equipment. (In reply, Tuchman repeated the fact that Cobble Hill didn't have anything to conserve.)

The concerned CEO made another plea the next day, asking if he could send the home's suspected coronavirus cases to the field hospital at the Javits Center or the USNS Comfort. No dice, came the answer.

We're also familiar with the video of Mayor de Blasio and his team (with a cameo from Pelosi in San Francisco) assuring New Yorkers that they should crowd into Chinatown and have fun:

That wasn't all.  Despite all the talk about social distancing, de Blasio never did anything to stop the subways from running.  Instead, he made things worse by decreasing the number of trains, forcing more crowding:

New York City's multipronged subway system was a major disseminator — if not the principal transmission vehicle — of coronavirus infection during the initial takeoff of the massive epidemic that became evident throughout the city during March 2020. The near shutoff of subway ridership in Manhattan — down by over 90 percent at the end of March — correlates strongly with the substantial increase in the doubling time of new cases in this borough.

Meanwhile, the subways are getting more disgusting and germ-ridden:

The subway has become a filthy, deadly homeless shelter on rails, according to disgusted transit workers who have taken to recording and photographing the horrid conditions.

One video shot earlier this month shows cars of homeless men and women stretched out and slumbering away on an E train. 


And in one video, a man uses the space between the cars on a 2 train as a toilet while stopped in a Brooklyn station.


Workers say the transit systems has never been dirtier or more packed with the homeless as ridership has declined with stay-at-home restrictions for all but essential workers.

Not to worry, though, because Mayor de Blasio is keeping his priorities straight:

New Yorkers elected these leaders, and now they're paying the price.  But Stephens is right that the rest of America shouldn't suffer because of New York's pathetic leadership.

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