When you consider the long list of botched government responses to the coronavirus, Casey Stengel’s comment on the ’62 Mets leaps to mind: “Can’t anybody here play this game?”
Start with Monday’s horrifying report by The Post’s Georgett Roberts, Carl Campanile and Kate Sheehy of a hellish city-run adult-care facility on Roosevelt Island.
“Patients were in deplorable conditions — very, very dirty, bedsores, terrible odors,” one nurse, who’d traveled to the city to help out, told The Post. Another described areas smeared with feces and infested with vermin and cockroaches.
Then there’s Mayor Bill de Blasio’s boasts of “success” in getting only 3 percent of the “subway homeless” into shelters. And the situation in at least one of those shelters, the Bellevue Men’s Shelter, is Kafkaesque: Beds are left empty for social-distancing rules, forcing vagrants to sleep on the lobby floor — right next to each other.
At the state level, Team Cuomo ordered nursing homes to take in virus-positive patients, knowing those facilities were disease incubators. Only after we and others blasted the madness did he shift course.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also let the nation down, as Trump adviser Peter Navarro lamented Sunday: The CDC was a “trusted brand,” yet not only did it “keep the testing within the bureaucracy,” it produced a “bad test and that set us back.” Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, meanwhile, is furious with the CDC’s poor data collection.
And the Food and Drug Administration has now halted a Bill Gates-backed COVID surveillance program in Seattle — because it reports test results to patients, which requires a new FDA review. Yet the program already has broad support from public-health leaders; even a CDC adviser was part of it. The data it collects could help guide the public response to the outbreak. And it makes scant sense to keep test results from patients.
Yes, the virus is an unprecedented challenge and still poorly understood. No one could expect public officials to respond perfectly. But they’ve got to do better than this.