Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, May 8, 2020

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

Johnson, Hoylman Celebrate End of Mount Sinai-Samaritan’s Purse Partnership

Council Member Corey Johnson
Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)

Evangelical nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse, which ran a makeshift hospital for patients of the coronavirus in Central Park, will end its partnership with Mount Sinai Hospital, Patch reported Tuesday.

The North Carolina-headquartered, Franklin Graham-run charity came under fire during its time aiding New Yorkers sick with the coronavirus for making all volunteers sign a “statement of faith” whose points included that “marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female” and that those who are “unrighteous” will face “everlasting punishment in hell.”

State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, West Village, Midtown West) celebrated the announcement.

“I fully support the heroic efforts of the doctors, nurses and medical personnel on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “But it’s a real shame that Mount Sinai still clings to the argument that the only way to help our healthcare heroes is to allow bigots and homophobes to lend a hand,” 

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, West Village, Midtown West) agreed.

“This group, led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help,” he said. “That time has passed.”

Warren Urges City Council to Increase Protections for Essential Workers

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined several New York labor leaders to push for a Bill of Rights for essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic in a digital City Council meeting Thursday, Courthouse News Service reported. 

Warren has already commenced a policy plan to strengthen key protections for essential workers, saying that more must be done to protect them during the crisis.

“Now it’s so much clearer how much everyone else relies on your work,” Warren said to the workers. “The rest of America needs to have your back, and that’s what the Worker Bill of Rights is all about.”

Rosenthal Seeks to Bring Pet Custody Cases to Court

Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal

As pet adoption and fostering has grown since the pandemic began, the concern that new pet parents will be forced to abandon their furry friends amid financial hardship, culminating in mass euthanization has become a viable fear.

Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Hell’s Kitchen, Upper West Side) sought to combat such cruelty when she introduced bill A. 10333 Friday, the Post-Journal reported. 

Under the terms of the bill, courts could decide who gets rightful ownership of pets following a divorce or marriage separation, as well as changes in living situations for co-tenants when the pet has no clear owner among them. 

“Despite being sentient beings, current law considers animals to be personal property,” Rosenthal wrote. “This legal shortcoming becomes particularly clear when a pet owner seeks legal recourse after their pet is intentionally or negligently harmed by the acts or omissions of another. When pet owners bring these lawsuits, they often find that they can only collect damages equal to the actual value of the animal, which may be no more than a few hundred dollars. People are unable to collect damages to cover the pain and suffering caused by the incident, to the animal or them.”

More from Around New York