With all due respect to Governor Andrew Cuomo, and I think he is mostly doing a good job, I think the better model to look to is California.
California had the first identified case of community transmission of COVID-19 in the United States, in Sacramento County (in Congressman John Garamendi’s district), likely originating from someone from nearby Travis Air Force Base where cruise ship passengers were being quarantined.
California has slightly less than twice the population of New York state (CA = 38 million, New York 19.5 million). California responded immediately and aggressively, with the first cities to enact local stay-at-home orders and the first state to do so statewide.
New York has a busy international port of entry (New York City) which receives the most incoming travel traffic from Europe; but California has three major international ports of entry (Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego) which receive the most incoming travel traffic from Asia.
With twice the population, California has 1/10 the number of COVID-19 cases, which is 1/20 of the rate proportional to the population. While I recognize that New York City is also more densely congested and California is more spread out (geographical social distancing), EARLY AGGRESSIVE PREVENTIVE MEASURES WORK. It is also the difference between South Korea and Italy.
I don’t want to be critical of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is doing a good job. But he keeps calling New York the “first” and the “canary in the coal mine.” California was first, but we have 1/20 of the bad outcomes per capita, because California demonstrates that when the canary dies, you get out of the damn coal mine IMMEDIATELY.
California Governor Gavin Newsom doesn’t spend as much time in front of the cameras, but his results are far more impressive.