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Bill De Blasio New York City

Press conference with New York City Mayor, Bill De Blasio (3/26/2020)

Next up, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio did a pretty underwhelming press conference right before Trump. Here are the highlights.

  • The situation in NYC is changing by the minute
  • We have supplies for the week, but after that it’s uncertain. 
  • We need federal help
  • We need to be able to turn around supplies quickly.
  • My favorite sign language translator is back! Yasss!
  • New York City has the largest public hospital system in the nation.
  • Elmhurst in Queens is now the epicenter of the crisis in NYC.
  • Elmhurst has been resupplied with ventilators four times this week.
  • 56 additional staff members have been sent to Elmhurst.
  • We need more support for Elmhurst, but they are doing the best they can.
  • Before Coronavirus, we had 20,000 fully supplied hospital beds. This used to be considered a big number. Now, not so much. We are attempting to triple the beds by May.
  • De Blasio says he can’t promise we will reach that goal.
  • The surge plans that the state put forward will add at least 7,000 beds quickly.
  • Everyone loves talking about the Javits Center in these things.
  • With the Javits and all of the other new field locations, we will now have 34,000 beds. The ultimate goal is 60,000.
  • He says he would love to report good news, but that he can’t depend on maybes from the government.
  • 500 new ventilators have come in from the feds, and 2,000 from FEMA. Half of these ventilators are here in NYC already. That is a sixth of what we will need. The goal is 15,000.
  • Soon we will be talking about making ventilators here in the city.
  • He does not believe the government is utilizing the defense production act enough.
  • On Friday we will get 50,000 face shields from the brooklyn navy yard. By Tuesday, that number will be over 100,000.
  • He says the hard work done by the people of New York in no way excuses our federal government of their responsibility to us. AND I AGREE.
  • They are continuing to look at releasing inmates that are not a threat to society, and to protect high risk inmates from the virus.
  • As of last night, 200 inmates had been released since the beginning of this process.
  • The jail population in New York City continues to decline. There are less than 5,000 people in our jail system right now. That number has not been this low since 1949.
  • The population of New York City is 8.6 million people.
  • By tonight, the number of people released from prison will go up to 375.
  • New York city’s jail population is now 4,906 people.
  • He asks the super markets to please remember to practice social distancing and insist on social distancing from staff and customers alike. If need be, tell people to make a line outside.
  • If you are having trouble enforcing social distancing in your store, please call 311 and you will get help.
  • If you are able to, please start having a senior citizen hour in the morning. This is not mandatory, but would be greatly appreciated.
  • He then bumbles through a few words in Spanish, and the ASL translator really looks like he is trying not to laugh. SAME! Someone seriously needs to do a spanish battle between him and bloomberg. Haha

QUESTIONS

  • QUESTION: Let’s talk about unemployment.
  • DE BLASIO: It’s staggering. A lot of people haven’t even been able to apply yet. We estimate that half a million New Yorkers are now unemployed. We need more help from the feds.
  • QUESTION: What about juvenile detainees?
  • DE BLASIO: We will have more to say soon, but we are less focused on them because COVID-19 is less threatening to them.
  • VERY VALID QUESTION: How come Cuomo can give us numbers about where the ventilators are and you can’t?
  • DEBLASIO: The numbers are moving too much. Things are changing too much. It’s not productive to give numbers that may not be true minute to minute.
  • QUESTION: Recreation centers. What’s the plan if someone gets sick? (He means enrichment centers for the children of essential workers) Will it be like the schools?
  • DEBLASIO: We have to keep those centers running. If we have someone get sick, they will be immediately taken out of the situation. But the centers will have to remain open.
  • QUESTION: Staten island – they have 1900 beds. 1200 already in use. No public hospitals. What about them?
  • DE BLASIO: We will continue to build out the hospital system. If we can send people outside the borough, we will.
  • QUESTION: Do any guidelines allow for reuse of PPE in case of a pandemic?
  • DE BLASIO: This is uncharted territory, so we may need to change standards when needed. We are working collaboratively with the CDC to keep up with changing standards.
  • QUESTION: Out of the 4,000 hospitalizations, how many are in public hospitals? How long until they go broke?
  • DE BLASIO: The city will continue to fund the hospitals. That is a sacred duty. Do not have separate numbers. Bills will come for hospitalizations because we will need the money, but it’s not our first thought.
  • PERSONAL NOTE: I have been a patient in the New York City public hospital system for many years. I contracted a life threatening case of the mumps in my 20s, and was hospitalized at Bellevue for an entire week. They saved my life. I would not be here without them. When all was said and done, I was out of work for over a month. A bill came for $30K in the mail, but I took it to the hospital and told them my situation. They let me clear the entire bill for just $150 because I was uninsured and out of work. The people in the New York City public hospital system are ACTUAL ANGELS, and I will forever be grateful to them! Please keep them in your prayers, and if you are a New Yorker be grateful to live in a city that has these resources!
  • QUESTION: Are you going to tour possible field hospitals with Cuomo? The reporter adds that she thinks it’s negligent that we are not getting daily numbers on cases and deaths in the city.
  • DE BLASIO: Yes, he’ll also be touring locations. He also says that her personal opinion is not a question, nor is it appropriate to voice in this forum.
  • QUESTION: What is the death toll at Elmhurst today? How does it compare to other hospitals?
  • DE BLASIO: Today they had 4. The number tracks with the number of people on ventilators. It’s a normal percentage for the number of people on ventilators.
  • QUESTION: Are you doing this triage ethics plan or not?
  • DE BLASIO: We are trying to avoid ever having to make those choices. We are not giving up on the notion that we can save everyone.
  • QUESTION: How did you pick the streets to close today?
  • DE BLASIO: Through a committee of city people.
  • QUESTION: What is the latest guidance for people who feel sick? How long should they wait to go to a hospital? What about testing?
  • STATE DOCTOR: Stay home 3 – 4 days. If you do not get better, reach out to a healthcare provider. Or if you get worse, go. People who test should be over 50, have one of the five underlying conditions, or people who are sick. Do not go if you are not in that group.
  • QUESTION: What do we protect at all costs?
  • DE BLASIO: fighting COVID-19, the NYPD, water, and things we need to live. He goes on to say how truly ridiculous it is that we are getting the same funding as someplace with very few cases like Idaho. AND I AGREE.
  • QUESTION: What about methadone clinics?
  • DE BLASIO: We have not heard of any shortages on methadone.
  • QUESTION: What about the internet? What do families do if they can’t afford the internet? We have heard reports that some companies are refusing service to people who have past due bills.
  • DE BLASIO: He said this has not been brought to his attention previously, but that it “really pisses him off” that any of these companies would refuse service right now since so many kids will need the internet for classes. He says he would gladly take legal action to prevent that from happening to anyone.

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