‘Two dozen new cases of Covid-19, a deadly strain of novel coronavirus, were detected in the United States over the weekend, bringing the total to 42, with 47 more U.S. nationals infected either in China or aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Included in the 42 is New York City’s first case; the patient in question is currently confined to her Manhattan home.
“There is no cause for surprise – this was expected. As I said from the beginning, it was a matter of when, not if there would be a positive case of novel coronavirus in New York,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo, who last week called for the state legislature to pass $40 million in emergency management funds to confront the outbreak. Yet even with the extra money, it seems clear that the city would be almost completely unprepared to handle a crisis on the scale that much of the media is hyping it up to be.
A new report by New York Magazine, based upon information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and a 2008 New York City pandemic response plan, shows the Big Apple would be overwhelmed in the case of a Spanish Flu-like epidemic. Last week Mayor de Blasio announced he had set aside an extra 1,200 hospital beds in case of need. But a truly serious outbreak could see as many as 26,300 new patients per day arriving at hospitals. Furthermore, the city has barely one sixth of the ventilators it would need in that situation, with medical masks also in perilously short supply.
Perhaps the most notable information from the report is that if the city’s crematoria are overrun, New York intends to use prison slave labor to dig mass graves:
The city has plans to send corpses to Hart Island in the Long Island Sound where, in the late 19th century, yellow-fever patients were quarantined. Prisoners from Rikers Island would be ferried over to do the digging.”
This policy is based on a document authored during Michael Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor, one that saw a more authoritarian approach taken to crime and policing. Bloomberg is currently running for the Democratic presidential nomination.’