Thinking Citizen Blog — What would you do if you were Governor? Which Governor is doing the best job?

Thinking Citizen Blog — Thursday is Health, Health Care and Global Health Policy Day

Today’s Topic — What would you do if you were Governor? which Governor is doing the best job?

Let’s focus at the state level today. In the US, the “health, safety, and welfare” powers belong to the states. These are sometimes called the “police powers.” They originate in English common law and are implicitly affirmed in the 10th amendment to the US Constitution. So what would you do if you were governor? which governor is doing the best job? Cuomo? Baker? Newsom? DeWine? What is the right metric? Have you checked your partisan bias at the door before making your assessment? Today the summary of an article in the Boston Globe arguing that Cuomo has done a better job than Baker. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.


1. “Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker reports that over the past month, Massachusetts has counted 10,189 new COVID-19 cases compared to New York’s 20,265.”

2. “When accounting for the states’ populations, that means Massachusetts has seen nearly 1.4 times the number of new cases per capita.”

3. “The number of cases per capita in New York is lower even though that state is testing more extensively than Massachusetts is — almost twice as many tests per capita in the week from Aug. 5 through Aug. 11.”

NB: Is this the best source? is this the best metric? if not what is?


1. “a combination of extensive testing, cautious and region-based reopening, and vigilant enforcement of business safety guidelines have combined to create an impressive turnaround.”

2. “Some of this is a product of two governors’ contrasting leadership styles — the very aggressive, in-your-face approach taken by New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, compared to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s more detached and cautious approach, experts said. While Baker’s calm tenor drew praise during the pandemic’s more frightening days, some experts said guiding reopening may require a heavier hand.”

3. Is this a fair summary? is it a complete picture of the relevant differences?


1. “New York City still does not allow indoor dining, whereas Boston chose to allow inside eating as of June 22, when Massachusetts gave the green light for eateries statewide.”

2. “Indoor dining has been linked to 10 percent of new infections in other states, said Shan Soe-Lin, managing director of Pharos Global Health Advisors, a Boston nonprofit focused on global health matters.”

3. “New York has been especially tough on businesses that fail to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Cuomo on July 23 announced a task force led by state police and liquor authorities to help local officials monitor violations of coronavirus-related regulations. More than 700 establishments have received citations, and punishment can range from fines of $10,000 per violation to liquor license suspension and temporary closure.”

NB: But stricter enforcement has led to charges of racial bias: “In May, the New York Police Department came under fire after reports showed that 91 percent of people arrested for coronavirus-related crimes were Black or Hispanic.”

In pandemic recovery, New York has had more success than Mass. What explains the gap? — The Boston Globe

police powers

Police power (United States constitutional law)

Opinion | GOP governors are handling covid-19 better than Democrats, but you’d never know it from the news

Opinion | Coronavirus vs. Governors: Ranking the Best and Worst State Leaders


Please share the most interesting thing you learned in the last week related to health, health care or health care policy — the ethics, economics, politics, history…. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to health are or health care policy that the rest of us may have missed. Or just some random health-related fact that blew you away.

This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your mind something really important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that matters.



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