TODAY'S PAPER
Good Evening
Good Evening
NewsHealthCoronavirus

Cuomo wishes he 'blew the bugle' sooner on coronavirus

Axios on HBO: Governor Andrew Cuomo on the coronavirus pandemic (Clip) | HBO

Credit: HBO

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday he wished he “blew the bugle” sooner about coronavirus and acknowledged his confidence in New York’s world-class health care system perhaps led him to underestimate how hard it would hit the city and state.

In an interview with the news show “Axios on HBO,” the Democrat said that when China disclosed the initial outbreak in December, other countries should have worked to verify it was under control, rather than take the Chinese government’s word.

“When we heard in December that China had a virus problem, and China said basically, 'it was under control, don't worry,' we should've worried,” Cuomo said. “January? February? Where was everyone?

"I wish someone stood up and blew the bugle. And if no one was going to blow the bugle, I would feel much better if I was a bugle blower last December and January,” Cuomo continued, in an interview segment posted by the news site. “I would feel better sitting here today saying, 'I blew the bugle about Wuhan province in January.' I can't say that."

It appeared to mark the first time the governor has expressed regret for not acting sooner. Cuomo since March has touted the state's actions for slowing the spread of the virus.

According to a transcript, Cuomo said because of his "arrogance" about New York having the best health care system in the world, he didn't "even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries."

The governor has earned praise for his daily briefings since the virus hit and now is enjoying his highest approval rating ever from New York voters, according to a Siena College poll.

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

But he also has come under questioning for not closing New York schools and businesses as quickly as other states that had fewer cases at the time. California, Washington state and others, for example, acted more aggressively and haven’t had an explosion of infections.

At his Tuesday briefing, Cuomo used the "bugle" expression this time to fault organizations -- calling out the World Health Organization, other entities and the news media.

 "Where were all the bugle blowers?" Cuomo said, even though hundreds of news stories were published and broadcast about the virus from January to March, when New York began taking action, as well as WHO warnings and advisories.

When asked by Axios what he’d say to those who think government let them down, the governor said: “I don't think New Yorkers feel or Americans feel that government failed them," he said.

"I think they feel good about what government has done. … Their health care system did respond. This was not Italy, with all due respect. … There were not people in hallways who didn't get health care treatment."

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

Health