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This recognition is not about doling out blame to New York pols for what happened in March

This recognition is not about doling out blame to New York pols for what happened in March. Washington was worse than useless, from the president to the CDC. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio had to make difficult decisions that inflicted their own type of suffering—particularly closing the city’s public schools.

It’s about moving forward. The sooner New York can be honest about why its outbreak was so severe, the sooner leaders can figure out how to move forward. In fact, it’s a precursor to moving forward. Who will want to reopen a restaurant when political  New York City News leaders still believe contagion is in the city’s DNA? And why should Washington help prop up a subway system that’s perceived to be an outsize disease vector?

It’s a tough balance: Reopening New York will be harder than reopening Vermont. The average New Yorker makes contact with 75 people a day. Proposals in California and New Jersey that restaurants operate at half-capacity will be hard to adapt to Momofuku and the Corner Bistro. And then there’s all the shared public space, from libraries to parks to the subways, that must be kept clean enough to keep the virus in check—and just as importantly, to inspire the confidence that it is. The system keeping New York City safe will need to be better than it is elsewhere. Washington will have to recognize that a New York safe from disease (like, two decades ago, a New York safe from terrorism) requires special resources. The level of everyday civic awareness will be higher for a long time.

Others have doubts about the city’s long-term future. How will tourism rebound? Will white-collar workers, accustomed to typing from their couches, still pay to Press Release Distribution Service In New York City cluster in Manhattan? Will Manhattan families come out of this deciding they want backyards? Will the feds provide enough aid that hard-hit cities and states don’t have to cut the services to the bone? Those are good questions—but we can’t start to answer them before we reassure ourselves, and others, that New York City is not unsafe by design.

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