I rarely read the New York Post and I doubt that I’ve linked to anything in the Post more than a time or two but I found this cri du coeur by columnist David Marcus powerfully written:
By prolonging the coronavirus shutdown long after its core mission was accomplished, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have plunged tens of thousands of New Yorkers into poverty.
It needs to end. Now.
In mid-March, we were told we have to endure a lockdown to ensure that hospitals didn’t get overrun. We did. The hospitals were not overwhelmed. We turned the Javits Center into a hospital. We didn’t need it. We brought in a giant Navy ship to treat New Yorkers. We didn’t need it.
We were told we were moments away from running out of ventilators. We weren’t, and now the United States has built so many, we are giving them away to other countries.
Meanwhile, the Big Apple is dying. Its streets are empty. The bars and jazz clubs, restaurants and coffeehouses sit barren. Beloved haunts, storied rooms, perfect-slice joints are shuttered, many for good. The sweat equity of countless small-business owners is evaporating. Instead of getting people back to work providing for their families, our mayor talks about a fantasyland New Deal for the post-coronavirus era.
Open the city. All of it. Right now. Broadway shows, beaches, Yankees games, the schools, the top of the freakin’ Empire State building. Everything. New Yorkers have already learned to socially distance. Businesses can adjust. The elderly and infirm can continue to be isolated.
I have no idea of what New York should or should not do but I think the figures speak for themselves. The NYC metro area is home to about 20 million people, about 6% of the U. S. population, and it is probably more detached from the economy and affairs of the rest of the country more now than at any time in its history. As Mama Rose puts it in the musical Gypsy New York is the center of New York. And that was written more than 60 years ago.
Something between a third and half of all of the cases and deaths in the entire United States have been in the NYC metro area. The prevalence and morbidity of the disease there is an order of magnitude greater than what most of the country is experiencing.
3,000 miles away, the Los Angeles metro area is home to 13 million people. The Washington, DC metro area is home to another 6 million people. Together those three metro areas account for roughly 12% of the population of the U. S. but for at least 90% of the national opinion-making apparatus. For that to continue is unhealthy. It is distorting.