After months of criticizing the federal government for issuing a travel ban for Chinese residents while COVID-19 cases were actually pouring into the New York metro area from Europe, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been vindicated. Now, the government's main agency handling the crisis agrees with that assessment. A new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that by the time the federal government placed travel restrictions on Europe, it was already too late, and the virus had taken a stranglehold in the region. The federal government restricted travel from China early in February, but waited until mid-March, at which point millions of travelers had already gone through airports in the tristate area, to restrict travel from Europe, whose travelers were bringing the virus with them. “The federal government didn’t do the European travel ban until March 16," Cuomo previously said, "so between January, February, March, how many flights flew into JFK and how many people came here? Three million. “That’s why New York had the highest infection rate … it had nothing to do with New Yorkers or the blue states,” he continued. “It’s because we were misled, we were misinformed, and the virus was coming from Europe, not from China like initially thought.” The CDC report found that testing was limited, namely in densely populated New York City, which allowed the unabated spread of the virus before the country realized the threat the virus brought to the country. Data collected by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene between Sunday, March 1, and Friday, March 20, found that within a week, there was “sustained community transmission” of the virus in Manhattan. Robert Redfield, the Director for the CDC said "the extensive travel from Europe, once Europe was having outbreaks, really accelerated our importations and the rapid spread. I think the timing of our travel alerts should have been earlier." According to the CDC, the department examined specimens taken from people who went to the emergency room with flu-like symptoms. Of the 544 subjects tested, 36, (6.6 percent), were positive for COVID-19. “Mount Sinai issued a report earlier that found the virus that came to New York had come from Europe and not from China,” Cuomo said during a conference call on Thursday, July 16. “They did that by studying the genetic makeup of the virus, and when the virus had gone from China to Europe, the virus mutated in Europe, and the viral strain that came to New York was from Europe. “The report they just put up says, that although travel restrictions are an important mitigation strategy, by the time the European restrictions were implemented, importation and community transmission had already occurred in New York.” Cuomo went on to take another shot at President Donald Trump and his administration for their passive handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.