Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, May 14, 2020

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

Stringer Calls Mitch McConnell “Disgrace”

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

In a Monday appearance on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show”, Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) for refusing to bail out New York amid the coronavirus, the Daily News reported.

Last month, McConnell declared opposition to “blue state bailouts” and expressed his party’s distaste to “state pensions by borrowing money from future generations.”

“The people he’s talking about are our frontline workers,” said Stringer. “[T]he person who runs the subway system who died, the teacher who educates our kid who passed away, the nurses and the doctors — he’s a disgrace.”

Hoylman Bill Would Let Workers Keep Their Health and their Livelihood

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

When the state legislature reconvened Wednesday, financial protections were the top policy priority. Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown West, West Village) got on the bandwagon when he proposed a new bill.

Hoylman’s bill would allow workers who lose or quit their jobs to access unemployment insurance if unsafe working conditions led to their unemployment.

“This forces workers in the current climate to choose between their health and their paycheck,” Hoylman told ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “They shouldn’t have to make that choice between work and health protections. We have to make sure unemployment insurance is available to these workers.”

City Council Electeds Urge Mayor to Prioritize Buses

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

In a letter, thirteen City Councilmembers, lead by Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Washington Heights, Inwood), blasted Mayor Bill De Blasio’s (D) plan to cut funding for the better bus initiative he has proposed Monday, NYC Streetsblog reported.

The letter’s Manhattan delegation included Mark Levine (D-Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights), Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Lower East Side), Keith Powers (D-Midtown East, Murray Hill), Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island, East Harlem), and Margaret Chin (D-Chinatown, Financial District).

“While the city is in a challenging fiscal crisis caused by the coronavirus … bus service has powered the city’s emergency response, providing critical service to frontline workers — brave doctors and nurses, EMTs, grocery workers, transit employees, and delivery drivers — 75 percent of whom are people of color,” they wrote.  “We cannot shortchange the New Yorkers who helped save this city nor overlook the role public transit plays in our economy.”

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