mpharris36 wrote:To be fair Europe was working with the US in terms of sharing information and data. You can understand being skeptical of a country where the virus started yet they weren't forthright with any information, no?
Also a question, are we judging covid response by death or death rate? Just trying to be on the same page because if the argument is 196k deaths. While states like TX and FL were destroyed for there covid responses and Cuomo asking for praise for his response the death rates aren't even comparable to a state like NY and NJ.
I'd like to jump onto this last question, but quick disclaimer that I just clicked on the last page after a busy afternoon and I may have missed a bunch of context. So my bad if I miss a bit.
Anyway just to qualify my take here:
- I seriously loath Cuomo dating back to when he broke up a corruption probe for getting too close to his cronies. Also I'm mostly indifferent to Murphy...better than Christie but that's a low bar.
- I work at a medical library. Not claiming expertise, but my job entails looking at what the community is using and citing for research so that I can make sure my library has everything available.
- And the refrigerated truck images and long lines for COVID tests both included images from right outside my job. This hit close to home in a very literal sense.
Anyway, all of that to say...I thought Cuomo's and Murphy's responses were bad but if we're talking about relative comparisons; these guys got screwed. There was hardly any data about what treatments worked; resource limitations were at their worst; and while the scientific data was rapidly being produced, NY and NJ were hit before much of anything that we could consider actually conclusive had been reached.
It's important to remember that the science was and is still evolving. As we compile more data conclusions either become more clearly correct or in need of corrections. This is true on how we look at effective treatments, mitigation procedures and even resource preparation. Most importantly, basically all of the research I saw from the Feb.-April period was freely available and almost entirely about COVID. The Cancer research center at Columbia was holding weekly symposiums to update everybody on how their prior research might inform handling of COVID; a big donation allowed an HIV researcher to start an RNA lab focused on coronviruses research if I'm not mistaken too (it's been a while).
So I mention that last bit because the information was coming in rapidly. A scientific conclusion might get reviewed, called out, retested and then retracted over a chunk of time normally. But here we were seeing advice given to the best knowledge available and then very quickly being adjusted because a TON of data was compiling rapidly. Sometimes the data conflicted or there wasn't enough to go off of so the advice was either limited or paired with rhetoric that meant it was subject to change (an aside: honestly you see this rhetoric everywhere in scientific publishing; there are headlines about proof of life on Venus but if you look at the paper it makes it clear that they haven't reached that conclusion, just eliminated essentially all of the other reasonable expectations they could test for
). What's important here is that, this explains why the suggestions shifted in some circumstances.
An easy example on that is the masks debate. That was legitimately up for discussion early on but pretty quickly we saw the efficacy of masks in the data and the CDC changed advice. This wasn't some conspiracy, their logic was explained when they made the first ruling and then when they made the adjustment. The problem is people locked in to the first decision and ignored the fact that new data had come out in droves which created a consensus. It's not a debate any more, hasn't been for a very long time and honestly I think it only ever was because of the resource limitations early on (educating people on proper mask wearing was also mentioned but it was never an immovable obstacle).
Okay so that's a LOT of writing, I'll try to keep this part brief. What separates Cuomo and Murphy from governors like DeSantis is that they followed scientific consensus. The mistakes they made early on should have informed adjustments to the approach, but DeSantis and some others pointed to those mistakes as a reason to ignore better informed conclusions and advice. Measuring death rates or deaths would ignore that crucial context. Cuomo and Murphy were late, could have saved lives by practicing caution sooner, but corrected course and their decisions mitigated the long term damage. DeSantis had enough time and warning to make adjustments that mitigated the damage before things escalated but he ignored the warning signs and consensus. That sort of logic essentially tracks like this; the later a governor's state was hit the better they're SUPPOSED to do on measures like deaths and death rates. They have better data, preparation and medical advice to work with.
Last bit I promise...Cuomo and Murphy get more credit than I think they deserve, but the context which makes us laud how they performed is that the information handicap they faced informs their mistakes rather than just plain ignoring what the experts were saying. When they realized things were bad, they followed science (still late but they did get blindsided in a sense). Places like TX and FL saw how bad things could get via NY/NJ/Cali and still decided to go with the economy over caution approach, so their failures end up being more about ignoring the experts than a lack of valuable data.