Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, Mar. 23, 2020

COVID-19 molecule
COVID-19 (Credit: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS)

De Blasio: School’s Out Early for Summer

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: William Alatriste)
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill De Blasio (D) appeared on “PIX11 Morning News” Monday Morning suggesting that New York’s public school students will most likely not return to their classrooms this school year due to the coronavirus outbreak, the New York Post reported.

Despite efforts to re-open city schools on April 20, the mayor currently said that such a deadline may be unachievable. Though remote learning started that day, De Blasio also indicated that city officials still haven’t provided laptops and internet connections to those students who do not have access to them. 

Appearing on 1010 WINS, he acknowledged that it would be ideal for students to return to their classrooms. “It will not be as good as kids being in a school building, not even close.”

Nadler Grills Barr over “Business as Usual” at DOJ

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-Morningside Heights, Upper West Side, Midtown West, Greenwich Village, TriBeCa, Financial District, Brooklyn) penned a letter to U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr Friday, the Daily News reported Friday. In the letter, Nadler expressed concern that the Justice Department has not adequately adjusted its operations to protect the quarter million people that the Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Marshalls has in its custody. 

“We urge you to put in place measures to ensure that both the flow of prisoners into federal facilities is slowed significantly and that prisoners who can and should be released are released forthwith,” reads the letter. “We cannot wait any longer to take action. In spite of the recent national emergency declaration and the fact that state and local prosecutorial agencies and courts across the country have made adjustments to their charging policies and are releasing prisoners who are at high risk of getting sick, it appears that it is “business as usual” in many U.S. Attorney’s offices. If true, this is deeply distressing.”

Niou Discusses Anti-Asian Racism in Era of Coronavirus

Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou
Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou

Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (D-Lower East Side, Chinatown, South Street Seaport, Financial District, Battery Park City) discussed the growth of racism against Asian Americans as the COVID-19 coronavirus has achieved global headlines with Spectrum News Friday. 

Niou cited President Trump’s calling the virus, which originated in the city of Wuhan, the “Chinese virus” as an example of the conduct that has helped to enable an environment more hostile towards Asian Americans than before. 

“I think there is not a single Asian American in this country that hasn’t had some kind of incident that has happened to them in recent months,” declared Niou. “There are two epidemics happening right now, hand in hand. One is an actual virus and the other is xenophobia and I think right now these two epidemics have taken on our world by storm.”