Cumbo Urges Mayor to Recognize Essential Employees
City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Downtown Brooklyn) has joined with Council Member Mark Gjonaj (D-Bronx), who chairs the Small Business Committee and 38 other council members in urging the Mayor Bill de Blasio administration to recognize employees of grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, laundry/dry cleaning, delivery service workers, child care and elder care, as essential employees.
“These first responders should be included in all efforts to secure protective gear such as N95 masks, hand sanitizers, shoe covers, and medical gloves in order to continue to serve everyday New Yorkers. We have to protect those who protect us,” wrote Cumbo and her colleagues in a letter to de Blasio.
“We are in total agreement that our first responders, doctors, nurses and medical technicians all need appropriate protective equipment, but if we don’t simultaneously include the protection of essential workers in New York City, they will continue to be the patients that will overwhelm our hospitals and spread the disease. We need a new game plan to protect those on the front lines,” they added.
Clarke Leads Letter Calling on Large Food Retailers
U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope) led members of Congress yesterday in sending a letter to America’s largest food retailers requesting information about their response to the coronavirus crisis.
“Even as our City shuts down life within the walls of our homes –our human need for food doesn’t go away. My letter calls for our largest grocery stores in America to give New Yorkers and all Americans the assurances they need: stocked grocery shelves and no price-gouging on essential goods during this coronavirus pandemic,” said Clarke.
The letter asks that each of these chains provide Congress with a strategy to keep the shelves stocked and pledge to not raise prices for the next 60 days on staple foods (such as produce, meat, soups and grains) and essential household goods (such as hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, paper towels and toilet paper).
“Our constituents have experienced something unprecedented in recent American history: empty grocery shelves across our country. While the supermarket industry has successfully restocked its shelves in the aftermath of other emergencies that increased demand for staple foods and household goods, the coronavirus crisis is unique. Unlike previous disasters such as hurricanes which impact particular regions, COVID-19 is impacting every community in America all at once,” the letter stated.
Frontus Delivers Meals to Coney Island Seniors
Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Gravesend) delivered hot meals to homebound seniors in Coney Island last night.
The coronavirus crisis has left many seniors and people with disabilities struggling to obtain food. Frontus has urged city and state officials to assist hungry New Yorkers and said the federal aid package approved today should be used to help the most vulnerable populations as soon as possible.
Adams Hosted Vigil to Honor Deceased Principal from Coronavirus
Borough President Eric Adams hosted a candlelight vigil on Zoom yesterday evening with chancellor Carranza, principals union, and relatives to honor the memory of Dez-Ann Romain, a principal of Brooklyn Democracy Academy.
Romain, a widely beloved educator and pillar of the Brownsville community, passed away yesterday from coronavirus-related complications at the age of 36.
Good News from Myrie Amidst the Craziness
State Senator Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) shared some good news amidst the coronavirus crises.
The good news included that More than 40,000 health professionals from across the state have signed up to help address the crisis and 2,000 have signed up in the city at Help Now NYC, in the city’s Text Out the Count efforts this past Sunday and Monday, one million texts were sent to New Yorkers about the census, and to top it off, efforts to contain the virus in Westchester appear to be working, showing that as difficult as it is, social distancing protects public health, according to the Wall Street Journal.
More updates from Myrie include:
FEDERAL RELIEF PACKAGE ANNOUNCED: The federal government has reached a deal on the largest financial relief package ever devised in U.S. history. The $2 trillion deal includes: $130 billion for hospitals, medical workers, and nursing homes; guaranteed pay to every American worker who is laid off; oversight to relief funds to corporations; $150 billion to state and local governments, and loans to small businesses so that they can continue to pay their workers while they’re closed. In total, New York State would get $3.8 billion under the agreement, but the governor says we will need much more.
CASES AND EQUIPMENT:
There are now 30,811 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, with 17,856 cases in New York City. 285 have died.
The state has purchased 7,000 ventilators and the federal government has sent 4,000. The state expects to need 30,000.
With the state now estimating that New York will need 140,000 hospital beds at the peak of the crisis, the governor has ordered hospitals to increase capacity by at least 50%. This would add 27,000 beds. Meanwhile, the federal government has sent a hospital ship that will provide 1,000 beds, and the federal government is providing 4,000 beds. Repurposing dormitories could add 29,000, so the total would bring the state to 120,000 beds within weeks.
MORE RELEASES OF INCARCERATED PEOPLE ANNOUNCED: In addition to the 75 people recently released, the mayor has announced that 300 more people with low-level charges will be released.