Magazine April 20, 2020, Issue

New York City in Crisis, from the Revolution to the Coronavirus

A worker moves hospital beds during the outbreak of the coronavirus in New York City, March 31, 2020. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
A history of perilous times

It’s official. Vice President Pence said the New York City metropolitan area is a “high-risk area.” Large problems happen to large numbers of people; inevitably they appear in New York, which has been one of the largest cities in North America for centuries.

George Washington had the Declaration of Independence read to his army in New York on July 9, 1776. He and they were about to lose the city to the enemy. Washington was outnumbered, 19,000 versus a British expeditionary force of 32,000. Worse, he was attempting to defend an island city, and only the enemy had brought a fleet.

This article appears as “New York City in Crisis” in the April 20, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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