Mayor Bill de Blasio has been reportedly focused on burnishing his public image to salvage his political legacy in the final year of his two terms at City Hall. NYC Mayor's Office (YouTube/Fair Use)

de Blasio mum in the face of the unexplained delay in weekly data update of Coronavirus variants/strains in New York City

The de Blasio administration appears unconcerned about the B.1.617 double-variant first detected in India and that has ravaged that nation, even as scientists try to assess the dangers and risks posed by it to public health elsewhere.

By Progress New York Staff

The Municipal Agency in charge of public health, NYC Health, has not released a weekly data update about Coronavirus variants/strains since May 4. Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) refused to say whether he was again playing politics with Government records. For this report, the City Hall press office declined to offer any explanation for the missing data.

Until last week, data about Coronavirus variants/strains had been updated weekly. As of now, the release of data as of May 11 is late. The missing data comes as Mayor de Blasio has been focusing on the Government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, like reopening public schools and the economy, in a desperate attempt to salvage the troubled political legacy of his two terms in office. The mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna reportedly show “limited effectiveness against the variant.” The spread of the B.1.617 double-variant in the United Kingdom may put into jeopardy the reopening of the British economy, according to a report published by the Hindustan Times.

The May 4 New York City data included no information about the B.1.617 double-variant first detected in India and that has reportedly overwhelmed hospitals and exhausted medical supplies in that nation. Indian families have reportedly been dumping bodies of COVID-19 victims into rivers due to poverty and panic. Last week, the B.1.617 double-variant was labeled as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation, or WHO, according to a report published by Nature. Even though the B.1.617 double-variant has been tracked for weeks by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the de Blasio administration has made disclosures without sequencing for B.1.617.

A pattern or practise of obfuscating Government data again comes to the fore, and, as usual, there are no consequences, even when there are public health implications.

According to a report published on May 11 by WHO, the B.1.617 variant has been detected in over 4,500 sequences in 44 nations across all six (6) WHO regions. In recent weeks, the B.1.617 double-variant has reportedly been detected in the San Francisco Bay Area ; Shelby County, Tennessee ; Clinton County, Michigan ; and Jefferson County, Ohio.

This has not been the first time that the de Blasio administration has delayed the release of Coronavirus-related data. As reported by Progress New York, the de Blasio administration restored the release of Coronavirus testing data on March 24 after test positivity results began to approach 15 per cent. in some New York City zip codes.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is reportedly facing a Federal inquiry over reported efforts to obstruct the release of Government data about Coronavirus deaths traced to New York State nursing homes. As reported by Progress New York, that Federal inquiry is reportedly being led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New York’s eastern district in Brooklyn, which, in the past, has defended the Government’s violations of open records laws.

The de Blasio administration was the subject of a complaint filed with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New York’s southern district in Manhattan. The complaint, filed by the editor of Progress New York, noted how many journalists had complained about how the de Blasio administration appeared to be violating the State’s open records laws. It’s unknown if Mayor de Blasio would face a Federal inquiry similar to the one reportedly faced by Gov. Cuomo. The press office supporting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss refused to answer questions submitted in advance for this report.