Governor Cuomo: "The CDC just put up a report that is a stunning admission of the federal government's failure to adequately diagnose or address the COVID virus The report they just put up says, that although travel restrictions are an important mitigation strategy, by the time the European restrictions were implemented, importation and community transmission had already occurred in New YorkThe virus came to New York — not from China, but from Europe."
Cuomo: "There will be a second wave, but not the second wave that we thought might happen. The second wave is not going to be a mutated virus. The second wave is going to be a rebound of COVID from the other states that now got infected transmitting it back to New York, so New York will have been failed by the federal government once, in the virus coming to New York undetected from Europe, and then the governmental incompetence is going to hurt New York a second time when the virus was allowed to increase in other states and then come back to New York. It will have been a double barrel shotgun of federal incompetence."
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo hosted a conference call and commented on the new CDC report on the spread of COVID-19 in New York.
AUDIO is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
Hello, thank you very much, operator. Andrew Cuomo. I'm joined by Commissioner Zucker and Jim Malatras and Gareth Rhodes, who have been working with me on the COVID crisis.
The CDC just put up a report that is a stunning admission of the federal government's failure to adequately diagnose or address the COVID virus. And I just want to walk you through some of the facts here. As you know, Mount Sinai issued a report earlier that found the virus that came to New York had come from Europe and not from China. They did that by studying the genetic makeup of the virus, and when the virus had gone from China to Europe, the virus mutated in Europe and the viral strain that came to New York was from Europe. Mount Sinai found that first — a great New York institution. On May 1, the CDC confirmed — and the Principal Director of the CDC said and I quote — "the extensive travel from Europe, once Europe was having outbreaks, really accelerated our importations and the rapid spread." The Principal Deputy Director went on to say, "I think the timing of our travel alerts should have been earlier." That was the CDC in early May. The CDC says today in a report that they put up called, "The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" — not a really cheery name for a report, but descriptive. The report they just put up says, that although travel restrictions are an important mitigation strategy, by the time the European restrictions were implemented, importation and community transmission had already occurred in New York. OK? That is a really powerful fact that explains definitively what happened in New York. The virus came to New York — not from China, but from Europe.
The federal officials, the federal government just missed it. The President likes to talk about his travel ban that was effective. His own CDC says the travel ban was too late. The President loves to talk about his China travel ban, February 2nd. By the time the President did the China travel ban it was too late because the virus had left China and went to Europe. The President does a travel ban from some countries in Europe in mid-March, March 30. That's too late also says the CDC. By the time they did the travel ban from Europe on March 13th it was too late. The virus was in New York; it had been in New York for weeks. The virus came from Europe. The virus had infected many and had already reached community spread in New York by the time the President did the European travel ban. That's what the CDC says. The CDC is a federal agency. Why is this important? Oh, one other fact - between February 6th and March 16th, which is the period that the authorities now believe the virus was coming from Europe and was moving through New York, 2,758 flights from Europe land at John F Kennedy; 1,200 flights from Europe land at Newark Airport. This definitively explains through federal authorities what happened. The virus came from Europe. They missed it. It was circulating in New York before they ever figured it out. By the time they did the Europe travel ban it was too late. The horse was out of the barn and then they were closing the barn door, by federal officials, alright? So, no politics, no - these are facts. It was terrible failing on behalf of the federal government because this was their job. This country's public health system is monitored by the federal government. It's managed by the federal government. Their job is to monitor against possible global pandemics. This country spends billions of dollars on an alphabet soup of federal agency charged with that specific responsibility.
The federal CDC, their mission, quoted from their website, "to protect America from health, safety and security threats. Both foreign and in the United States." The NIH, National Institute of Health, their mission quotes "seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health and lengthen life and reduce illness." Department of Homeland Security, quote "with honor and integrity to safeguard the American people, our homeland and our values." They failed. They failed. And the virus came to New York, and Americans died, because of government failure. Period. These are facts. They missed the science.
Government failed in this job, and, they are still failing, they are still failing. And they still are not following the science. And their government is still not competent and that is the increase we are seeing now all across the country.
There will be a second wave but not the second wave that we thought might happen. The second wave is not going to be a mutated virus. The second wave is going to be a rebound of COVID from the other states that now got infected transmitting it back to New York, so New York will have been failed by the federal government once, in the virus coming to New York undetected from Europe, and then the governmental incompetence is going to hurt New York a second time when the virus was allowed to increase in other states and then come back to New York. It will have been a double barrel shotgun of federal incompetence.
Follow the science, Mr. President. Open your eyes, listen to the federal health officials, listen to your own NIH, your own CDC that says, "We missed it. Our mistake." You're your own CDC and your own NIH that now says, "Treat this as the medical emergency it is, follow the science." It is a Fool's errand to try to defeat a virus with politics. The only way you defeat a virus is with science and medicine and this federal government still doesn't understand that fact. The real virus we're fighting is not COVID. We're fighting a virus worse than COVID. You know what virus is worse than COVID? The virus of American division and federal incompetence. That's the virus that is wreaking havoc on this country: American division, where the only way we stop this virus is if we are unified and we protect one another. Community spread - you know what it takes to beat Community spread? Community. Community, coming together, protecting one another, wearing masks, being smart one for another. That's how you defeat community spread - by community. You know how we get to National leadership to do it? Competent federal government, which we do not have. That's the virus. American Division and federal incompetence. This is from the CDC. It's their own words. His own officials. Now maybe that's why the President is trying to take us authority away from the CDC. I wouldn't be surprised.