NYT: Travelers from New York “seeded” outbreak across the U.S.

From China to Europe to NYC to…

Let’s start this story near the beginning…

By mid-March , it had become apparent that New York (more specifically, the NYC metroplex) was a blazing coronavirus hot spot.

It was also becoming apparent that the West Coast outbreaks had been “seeded” by travelers from China … and, that the NYC outbreak had been seeded from Europe.

At the March 24 Task Force Press conference, Dr. Birx casually mentioned that “60% of all the new coronavirus cases in the United States stem from the New York City metro area” and advised New Yorkers, wherever they were, to shelter-in-place. Source

It was commonly misconceived that Dr. Birx was saying that 60% of new cases were occurring in New York … ignoring the key words: “stem from”.

The governors of Rhode Island and Florida understood what she was clearly saying.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo’s directed state police to stop vehicles with New York license plates at the border, encourage them to u-turn … and if they demurred, to collect ID information from drivers and passengers and advise them to self-quarantine for 14 days to “stop the spread”. She also encouraged local law enforcement to go door-to-door looking for New York license plates and advise the car owners of the need to self-quarantine.


Following suit, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis started jawboning New Yorkers:


Then, fearing that New York travelers were “akin to international travelers bringing the disease from Europe and China”, DeSantis issued an executive order requiring fliers from the New York area be tested on arrival and advised to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival in the Florida.

President Donald Trump floated a trial balloon that he might institute a ban on New Yorkers’ travel to others states amid the coronavirus.

Encouraged by the ACLU, Gov. Cuomo accused President Trump of “trying to start a civil war”, insinuated that Gov. DeSantis was a rube “playing to his rural constituency” and threatened to sue his Rhode Island neighbor.


President Trump let the matter drop, the Florida restrictions died under the weight of the heavy stream of New Yorkers fleeing to the Miami environs and Rhode Island caved to Cuomo’s threats.

OK, now let’s fast forward to today…


This week, The New York Times published a story headlined:


The article’s punch line:

New York City’s coronavirus outbreak grew large by early March and the city became the primary source of new infections in the United States,  as thousands of infected people traveled from the city and seeded outbreaks around the country, fueling outbreaks in Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and as far away as the West Coast.

To prove the point, geneticists tracked “signature mutations” of the virus, travel histories of infected people and models of the outbreak by infectious disease experts.

Their conclusion: “We now have enough data to feel pretty confident that New York was the primary gateway for the rest of the country.

Except for the Northwest states which had been sourced directly from China, the NY-induced spread was widespread and prominent:



I hate to draw this comparison, but China’s draconian measures to isolate Wuhan — from the rest of China, that is — appears to have minimized the viral spread to most of China.

Perhaps Gov. Cuomo should have been more aggressive getting New Yorkers to stay at home … not just stay in there residences, but stay in their local areas to avoid spreading the virus territorially.

Instead, Cuomo de facto legitimized travel outside the city and state by denouncing the governors who tried to keep New Yorkers out of their states.

Couple this with his policy of shipping infected patients back to nursing homes and you have to wonder why Cuomo is being widely lionized for his his coronavirus leadership.

Major outbreaks are directly traceable to his policies.

I must be missing something…

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