March 19, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Mayor Bill de Blasio demanded the federal government to step up its efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic and send millions of medical supplies to New York City — the country’s hardest hit area — or lives will be unnecessarily lost.
The number of COVID-19 cases drastically jumped to 3,954 across the city–with 26 deaths– as of Thursday evening. In Queens, there were 1,042 cases.
De Blasio, at a press briefing Thursday, denounced President Donald Trump for turning his back on the New York City as the rising numbers could soon overwhelm its healthcare system.
“It’s abundantly clear to say [President Trump’s] betraying his hometown and he unfortunately is letting down his entire nation,” de Blasio said of the Queens-native.
The City is in dire need of millions of critical medical supplies and personal protective equipment that only the federal government has the capacity to supply. He called for Trump to send the supplies by April.
“Here in New York City, we are two weeks or three weeks away from running out of the supplies we need most for our hospitals,” de Blasio said. “The only way those supplies can be provided in time, is through the full mobilization of the United States military.”
New York City needs three million N95 masks, 50 million surgical masks, 15,000 ventilators and 45 million each of surgical gowns, coveralls, gloves and face shields, de Blasio said.
Without the supplies, more New Yorkers will get sick and more will die.
“It must arrive in time and there is time for that help to arrive,” Mayor de Blasio said. “But [if] the federal government does not do all in its power immediately — it’s as simple as this — there’ll be a lot more people who get sick who didn’t need to get sick and there’ll be people who die who didn’t need to die.”
Trump must authorize the U.S. Department of Health to order private factories to shift their production to produce the needed equipment, the mayor said.
Every factory in America that can be converted to health care production, should be, he added.
De Blasio said Trump should also authorize a full activation of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in fighting COVID-19 by providing available beds, staffing support, and medical and safety supplies.
He said he didn’t understand why President Trump wasn’t doing more to fight the pandemic.
“President Trump, I will only say to the president, I don’t understand, and I think there are millions and tens of millions of Americans who don’t understand what you are doing right now,” de Blasio said.
“You are not using the tools of your office. This is one of the greatest emergencies our nation has faced in generations. Every tool has to be brought to bear, [but] for some reason you continue to hesitate.”
He said New York City cannot fight the coronavirus on its own.
“We alone — even if we’re the greatest city in the world and we are — we alone cannot solve this crisis.”