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The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to continue to find, isolate, test and treat all cases of COVID-19 as lockdowns across Europe started to ease with declining numbers of new cases. (April 27) AP Domestic

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week cited new research showing coronavirus spread from Europe to New York as a reason for early failures to contain the outbreak.

Despite early concerns that travelers from China brought the virus to New York, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says it came to East Coast states from European countries.

The new findings are key to debate over the effectiveness of President Donald Trump’s decision on Jan. 31 to close U.S. borders to foreign nationals who had been in China in the previous 14 days.

It also goes to the debate over whether New York was too late to act in closing down businesses until March 22, when the state already had 114 deaths and 15,000 cases.

Cuomo in recent days has increasingly pointed to the federal government not shutting down flights from Europe as the reason for New York leading the nation in deaths, which exceeded 20,000 on Thursday.

“We had people in the airports stopping people from China, testing people from China, the federal government did a lot of testing, a lot of screening, people getting off planes, from China,” Cuomo said during a press briefing Monday.

“Yes, but meanwhile the people from Europe were walking right past them,” he added.

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Traveling from Europe to NY at the start of the outbreak

Cuomo on Friday noted Trump eventually banned travelers from Europe on March 16 but described the measure as too late, citing how 3 million Europeans came through New York’s airports from December to March.

“Three million Europeans is a lot of people, and again it was months of people coming and people circulating before we were really put on notice,” Cuomo said.

He has also urged the federal government to use the new information to craft policies to limit risks of future global pandemics.

幸运飞艇4码选号技巧“Nobody was on guard. And you add that to the density of New York, especially in New York City and that virus just took off, okay,” Cuomo said Monday. “We didn't know...Now we do.”

The comments come as Trump has accused China of a coronavirus cover-up, suggested the government may have allowed the virus to spread , and threatened to extract a “substantial” price from Beijing for the pandemic, USA TODAY reported.

幸运飞艇4码选号技巧Chinese officials have charged the Trump administration with willful ignorance, dangerous mismanagement and even attempted “blackmail.”

幸运飞艇4码选号技巧The near-daily bomb-throwing between Washington and Beijing has alarmed national security experts who fear a new “Cold War” is brewing between the two superpowers at a moment of global crisis.

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Scientists investigating coronavirus spread

Meanwhile, scientists are reporting the coronavirus is mutating as it spreads across the planet.

幸运飞艇4码选号技巧A strain that may first have appeared in Europe is becoming dominant in many areas even as new ones appear, with experts suggesting the outbreak in New York helped seed others across the country.

The unanswered question is how the strains differ and whether they cause additional, and more severe, illnesses.

Several studies identified mutations of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus that emerged in China and causes COVID-19. The strains are very similar but represent slight changes in the virus's makeup.

"That could explain why we're seeing such different outcomes between San Francisco and New York City," Alan Wu, a professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California-San Francisco's School of Medicine told USA TODAY.

While East Coast states were hit by the European strain, West Coast states were hit by the strain originating in China.

Yet Wu and other experts noted there is insufficient data and evidence to draw conclusions about how different strains impacted the severity of outbreaks.

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Elizabeth Weise, Deirdre Shesgreen and Kim Hjelmgaard of USA TODAY contributed to this report

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David Robinson is the state health care reporter for the USA TODAY Network New York. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter:

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