Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) on Sunday knocked down the idea that President Donald Trump's so-called travel ban from China had been effective at stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus.
During his daily coronavirus briefing, Cuomo reviewed some of the lessons learned during the last two months of the pandemic.
The governor pointed to a recent CDC report which suggested that the U.S. should have taken action earlier to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"When they look at the different strains of the virus in the United States," Cuomo explained, "the West coast had cases well before the East coast... Those strains came from China."
"What we have seen in New York didn't come from China," the governor continued. "Actually it is a different strain of the virus that came from Europe."
Cuomo noted that 139,000 travelers came from Italy in the month of February while "the outbreak was spreading wildly and rapidly."
"They land in New York and we're all still looking at China," he remarked. "The travel ban on China may have been helpful but the horse was already out of the barn in China. The virus had left. The virus was in Europe. And meanwhile, we have European travelers coming here and they're bringing the virus, which is now a different strain."
According to Cuomo, the federal government should have acted earlier to stop travel from Europe and China.
"Nobody was watching Italy and Europe at the time," Cuomo said. "Those are words to remember going forward. Outbreak in China -- a number of days, it's going to be in Europe. From Europe, it's going to come to the United States assuming it didn't come immediately from China."