Ex-NY Times reporter says NYC lockdown 'might have actually worsened things at the worst possible time'

Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson told "The Ingraham Angle" Wednesday that there is an "increasingly plausible case" that coronavirus lockdowns are "at best irrelevant" and may even have worsened the effect of the pandemic in New York City, the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S.

"They might have actually worsened things at the worst possible time in New York City, for example, by driving people back into small apartments and by driving people to emergency rooms," Berenson told host Laura Ingraham.

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"So, you know, this idea that lockdowns have saved tens or hundreds of thousands of people, frankly, there's essentially no evidence of that," he added.

New York state had reported more than 354,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 23,000 deaths as of Tuesday evening. More than 194,500 cases and 14,800 deaths occurred in New York City.

Earlier Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo brushed off call for the Department of Justice to open an investigation into the number of deaths in New York's nursing homes during the pandemic, claiming he was only following guidelines from the Trump administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when his administration told nursing homes to re-admit COVID-19 patients after they had been discharged from the hospital.

"All the places that have seen the most deaths, the deaths are very, very heavily skewed to older people, especially people over 80," said Berenson, who added that "there's been an effort made to try to scare people who are relatively low-risk here. And I guess that is to try to keep political support for the lockdowns."

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"The problem is this comes at a huge cost in that states are not protecting the people that need to be protected," he added. "In fact, you see in Florida, where they've actually made a real effort to protect nursing homes in ways they [New York] didn't, in some of the more heavily locked up states, there's been far fewer deaths, even though there are many, many elderly people in Florida."