New York State has 160,000 recorded cases, including 93,000 in New York, a heavy toll that can be explained by several reasons. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said it many times: New York, which officially has 8.6 million inhabitants, is a particularly dense megalopolis: more than 10,000 inhabitants per km2. A breeding ground for the spread of infectious diseases. Millions of people use the metro and other public transport every day.
It is also one of the world‘s leading tourist destinations: more than 60 million tourists per year. A virus that has appeared abroad therefore has a good chance of spreading there.
The metropolis is also characterized by strong socio-economic inequalities, overcrowded situations in certain working-class neighborhoods (Queens, Bronx), where many people already suffer from health problems, without access to healthcare. These districts are today the most affected.
Delay in providing tests
After much hesitation, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the closure of public schools, bars and restaurants as of March 16. The governor decreed the containment and closure of non-essential activities a week later, March 22. Did they wait too long? Experts are reluctant to throw stones at them.
“The mayor and the governor were subjected to opposite pressures”, summarizes Irwin Redlener. “Some were pushing to quickly close schools,” “others stressed the economic and social consequences” of such a decision. “The messages were confused.”
The mayor and governor of New York have for weeks bemoaned the initially delayed by the government of Donald Trump in providing tests to States, which are still insufficient today to take the full measure of the epidemic.