Sanders Gives Coronavirus Update
State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway) gave the following updates concerning the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Department of Labor released a new PSA to help New Yorkers applying for unemployment benefits. The PSA provides information on how to apply for UI benefits and reassures New Yorkers: If your unemployment filing is delayed, you will still receive every cent you are owed. And if you have questions about the expanded COVID-19 UI and whether you qualify, click HERE for more information.
During his daily press conference yesterday, Governor Cuomo said we currently have 83,712 cases coronavirus cases in New York State and 1,941 deaths. He said he does not know when the pandemic will be over but model projections indicate that the apex (or peak) will occur at the end of April and that the entirety will extend into July.
The McKinsey model shows that with minimal social distancing we will need 110,00 COVID beds and 37,000 ventilators, but with high compliance with social distancing, the numbers are reduced to 75,000 COVID beds and 25,000 ventilators.
The Governor added that in his personal opinion rapid testing is the fastest way to get up and running and end anxiety. In regard to testing kits and swabs – Regeneron is creating 500,000 test kits at no charge with the first batch being delivered Monday with 25,000 per day in ongoing delivery. Corning has donated 100,000 tubes and provided an additional 500,000 at reduced cost and with expedited delivery.
The Governor said that living through these difficult times will be a transformative experience but advised that we should take with us the positive information that we learn and leave behind the negativity and the fear.
Governor Cuomo has closed all NYC playgrounds to stop the spread of coronavirus. This comes one day after Mayor de Blasio said that he would close 10 playgrounds that were problematic with people repeatedly refusing to follow social distancing rules. For more information, click HERE
De Blasio Announces James O’Neill as COVID-19 Senior Advisor
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday that former Police Commissioner James O’Neill will be returning to the City to serve as COVID-19 Senior Advisor.
In this role, O’Neill will oversee the supply and distribution of personal protective and medical equipment within New York City hospitals as demand continues to surge due to the COVID-19 crisis. O’Neill will create, operationalize and manage a supply inspection regime within the hospitals to ensure the rapid turnaround of new supplies and verify each hospital is pushing needed equipment to frontline health care workers.
O’Neill will take on this volunteer role while continuing to serve as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Security at Visa Inc.
“Jimmy is one of the finest public servants our City has ever known,” said de Blasio. “Jimmy will leverage his extensive management experience and knowledge of the City to ensure that our healthcare workers on the front lines have the supplies they need to save New Yorker’s lives. I’d also like to thank Visa CEO Al Kelly for allowing Jimmy to help his beloved hometown in our hour of need.”
To date, the City has distributed a total of 8,282,200 face masks, 2,077,980 N95 masks, 105,880 gowns, and 1,956,940 surgical gloves to hospitals across the City. The City has now received and is dispatching all 2,500 ventilators received by the federal government. The City has also put out a call to oral surgeons, plastic surgeons, and veterinarians across the City to donate ventilators that are currently not in use.
More information on how to donate is available here.
Gillibrand Urges HHS to Ramp Up Emergency Funding to New York Hospitals
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to immediately award funds for hospitals and health care providers that were appropriated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Expediting this funding will help ensure New York’s hospitals and health care providers have the vital resources to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
New York’s health care infrastructure has been overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic; the state is now at the epicenter of the pandemic with over 75,000 cases. Hospitals have lost hundreds of millions of dollars and many of them only have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to last a few days.
“New York’s hospitals have become war zones and the financial strain is staggering,” said Gillibrand. “They are in dire need of resources to fight this deadly virus and funding for our health care system must be prioritized for New York, which has quickly become the epicenter of this pandemic. It’s critical that the administration work much faster to provide funds to our hospitals and health care providers so they can save lives and combat the spread of coronavirus.”
The coronavirus emergency response package includes $100 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to ensure hospitals and health care providers have adequate resources to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
Meng thanks AJC for Funding Donation to Elmhurst Hospital
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) yesterday expressed her gratitude to the American Jewish Committee (AJC) for donating funding to Elmhurst Hospital in her honor.
According to the AJC press release, funds were donated to Elmhurst Hospital for purchasing life-saving equipment. Serving one of the most diverse communities in the United States, the hospital has become a tragic epicenter of the deadly impact of the disease. The donation is made in honor of Congresswoman Grace Meng of Queens, who has steadfastly called out for medical supplies to enable the hospital to respond to the Coronavirus.
“I am speechless, and from the bottom of my heart truly appreciate this incredibly generous show of support,” said Meng. “We have all heard about the situation at Elmhurst Hospital. It needs all the help it can get, and this donation will provide more tools to help our frontline health care workers save lives. Thank you AJC! The generosity and selflessness that you have shown towards helping those impacted by this pandemic will never be forgotten.”