The day after New York recorded its first positive coronavirus test, on March 2, 2020, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo said something that should go down in the annals of misplaced hubris:

“Excuse our arrogance as New Yorkers. … We think we have the best health care system on the planet right here in New York,” Cuomo said at the first of many daily briefings. “We don’t even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries.”

Three weeks later, of course, New York was reeling from its worst pandemic in more than a century. The virus hit especially hard in New York City, where emergency rooms overflowed and eerily empty streets echoed with the wail of ambulance sirens.

Three years further on, we can now quantify how wrong Cuomo was. New York’s initial outbreak turned out to be more severe than almost any other country’s — especially within its biggest city.

Read the full op-ed in the New York Daily News.


About the Author

Bill Hammond

As the Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy, Bill Hammond tracks fast-moving developments in New York’s massive health care industry, with a focus on how decisions made in Albany and Washington affect the well-being of patients, providers, taxpayers and the state’s economy.

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