The New Yorker has a fascinating piece entitled "Seattle’s Leaders Let Scientists Take the Lead. New York’s Did Not." It offers some important lessons from how different state governments reacted to the pandemic.
"The initial coronavirus outbreaks in New York City emerged at roughly the same time as those in Seattle. But the cities’ experiences with the disease have markedly differed. By the second week of April, Washington State had roughly one recorded fatality per fourteen thousand residents. New York’s rate of death was nearly six times higher.
"There are many explanations for this divergence. New York is denser than Seattle and relies more heavily on public transportation, which forces commuters into close contact. In Seattle, efforts at social distancing may have been aided by local attitudes - newcomers are warned of the Seattle Freeze, which one local columnist compared to the popular girl in high school who 'always smiles and says hello' but 'doesn’t know your name and doesn’t care to.' New Yorkers are in your face, whether you like it or not … New York also has more poverty and inequality than Seattle, and more international travellers."
The New Yorker goes on: "It’s also true, however, that the cities’ leaders acted and communicated very differently in the early stages of the pandemic. Seattle’s leaders moved fast to persuade people to stay home and follow the scientists’ advice; New York’s leaders, despite having a highly esteemed public-health department, moved more slowly, offered more muddied messages, and let politicians’ voices dominate."
You can read the story here.