Cuomo admits earlier mask mandate ‘would’ve made a dramatic difference’ in COVID-19 response

With so much uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19 throughout New York City in the early days of the pandemic, local and federal leaders made decisions that, in retrospect, are blamed for possibly making things worse

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is issuing an apology for his initial reluctance to institute a statewide order mandating the use of face masks, as reported by the New York Post.

“I should’ve done it earlier”

Cuomo, who has faced criticism on multiple fronts stemming from his coronavirus response plan, expressed his remorse during a recent radio interview.

“I was the first state in the nation to do masks,” he said. “I should’ve done it earlier. I should’ve done masks earlier.”

He went on to suggest that such a preemptive move “would’ve made a dramatic difference” as the virus spread rapidly throughout the heavily populated New York City metropolitan area earlier this year.

Perhaps more outrageous to many New Yorkers, however, is Cuomo’s controversial policy that ordered nursing homes to accept patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

In response to calls for an independent probe of that issue, Cuomo complained that it would become “political.”

“Now called a hospital death”

He has also faced accusations that he undercounted the state’s death toll among this vulnerable group by not including nursing home patients who died after being transferred to hospitals. The governor has refused to disclose the comprehensive number.

Cuomo did address the controversy, however, and defended his unconventional method of counting coronavirus-related mortalities.

“The question is when a person goes from a nursing home to a hospital, and the person dies in the hospital that is now called a hospital death,” he said. “Some people say, ‘No, that should be counted as a nursing home death.’ Well, then you would have to reduce the hospital deaths and you are attributing a death to a nursing home when it didn’t occur in a nursing home, it occurred in a hospital.”

His latest remarks came on the heels of a speech he delivered on Monday as part of the Democratic National Convention. Again touting his own state’s response, he took the opportunity to jab President Donald Trump by referring to COVID-19 as the “European virus.”

Try as he might to rewrite history, Cuomo and elected officials across the country will continue to face scrutiny as new details emerge from America’s ongoing fight against the coronavirus.

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