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The Timeline of How Bill de Blasio Prepared New York City for the Coronavirus

Added 03-27-20 11:04:02am EST - “Follow along as the mayor and his experts gradually move from dismissing the threat to shutting the city down.” - Nationalreview.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nationalreview.com: “The Timeline of How Bill de Blasio Prepared New York City for the Coronavirus | National Review”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Two days earlier, New York City officials laid out their preparedness plans, accurately assessing that the city’s international travel hub and large population made the coronavirus’s arrival just about inevitable. Mayor Bill de Blasio declared, “We have to act on the assumption that there will unfortunately be cases sooner rather than later in New York City. . . . We are working from the assumption that it’s a profound challenge. There’s no one here who is minimizing it.”

But de Blasio also said, “What we do know, to date, is that only through prolonged exposure can someone contract this virus. It is not a situation as with some other diseases where a single contact would be enough.”

This was the first of many times that city officials unknowingly shared information about the coronavirus that was not accurate, and they encouraged city residents to continue activities that probably continued the spread of the virus. With New York City now the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the decisions and statements by city officials from late January to early March now have an unnerving sense of whistling past the graveyard, with well-meaning but bad advice exacerbating the coming deluge.

“The de Blasio administration is prepared for the likelihood of the novel coronavirus in New York City,” Dr. Raul Perea-Henze, the city’s deputy mayor for health and human services, said January 24. “We urge all New Yorkers to continue to pursue their everyday activities and routines, but to remain aware of the facts about coronavirus. Those with a travel history should see a doctor at the first sign of any flu-like symptoms.”

The coronavirus had been circulating in Wuhan since at least early December. The last direct flight from Wuhan, China, to John F. Kennedy Airport had landed January 23.

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