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Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said Wednesday that he was shocked to find that 84% of novel coronavirus hospitalizations were occurring in people largely sheltering in place: 66% from “nonessential” or retired workers and 18% from nursing homes.
As noted by CNBC, Gov. Cuomo was referencing preliminary data from 100 New York hospitals involving about 1,000 patients.
“If you notice, 18% of the people came from nursing homes, less than 1% came from jail or prison, 2% came from the homeless population, 2% from other congregate facilities, but 66% of the people were at home, which is shocking to us,” the Democrat said during a televised COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.
“This is a surprise: Overwhelmingly, the people were at home,” Cuomo continued. “We thought maybe they were taking public transportation, and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually no, because these people were literally at home.”
“Cuomo said nearly 84% of the hospitalized cases were people who were not commuting to work through car services, personal cars, public transit or walking,” CNBC noted, adding that the governor “said the information shows that those who are hospitalized are predominantly from the downstate area in or around New York City, are not working or traveling, and are not essential employees.”
The data also shows “a majority of the cases in New York City are minorities, with nearly half being African American or Hispanic,” the report added.
“Much of this comes down to what you do to protect yourself. Everything is closed down, government has done everything it could, society has done everything it could. Now it’s up to you,” Cuomo said.
On March 26, the New York Democrat publicly questioned his lockdown policy, though he implemented no changes.
“We closed everything down. That was our public health strategy,” Cuomo said, as reported by the New York Post. “If you re-thought that or had time to analyze that public health strategy, I don’t know that you would say ‘Quarantine everyone.’”
“I don’t even know that that was the best public health policy,” the governor admitted. “Young people then quarantined with older people, [it] was probably not the best public health strategy. The younger people could have been exposing the older people to an infection.”
When the Post inquired about Cuomo’s public lockdown-questioning, his office directed the outlet to an article posted in The New York Times opinion section by Dr. David Katz. At a press conference on Monday, the Post noted, Cuomo specifically referenced Dr. Katz when similarly questioning quarantine measures.
“There’s a theory of risk stratification that Dr. Katz who’s at Yale University is working on, which is actually very interesting to me,” the governor said at the time. “Isolate people but really isolate the vulnerable people. Don’t isolate everyone because some people, most people, are not vulnerable to it.”
“And if you isolate all people, you may be actually exposing the more vulnerable people by bringing in a person who is healthier and stronger and who may have been exposed to the virus, right,” Cuomo added.
Still, the Democrat is continuing with his lockdown policy.
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