In late January, President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel from China to the United States after it became clear to him and his national security team that the COVID-19 outbreak was likely to worsen and become a major health threat. Shortly thereafter, the president also restricted travel from Europe after several countries there became coronavirus hotspots. But as turns out, according to a new study, it’s New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who should have acted to restrict travel from his state. The New York Times, surprisingly, reported Thursday that researchers believe people who traveled from the state to other parts of the country were responsible for “seeding” various regions with more COVID-19 cases: New York City’s coronavirus outbreak grew so large by early March that the city became the primary source of new infections in the United States, new research reveals, as thousands of infected people traveled from the city and seeded outbreaks around the country. The research indicates that a wave of infections swept from New York City through much of the country before the city began setting social distancing limits to stop the growth. That helped to fuel outbreaks in Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and as far away as the West Coast.
“We now have enough data to feel pretty confident that New York was the primary gateway for the rest of the country,” Nathan Grubaugh, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health, told the paper.