New York City is one of the hardest hit locales in the United States as the Coronavirus pandemic rages, but according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, the federal government is failing to seemingly take their situation seriously. During an MSNBC appearance this Friday, he revealed that after an initial positive conversation about city needs with Labor Secretary Alex Azar, the White House is simply “not calling back” and “not responding.” This revelation follows the New York Times report that Trump told governors to pursue crucial supplies like respirators on their own during a conference call.
The assistance that New York City is after includes military mobilization — California’s Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has also asked the federal government for the usage of a military hospital ship — and other supplies, like those respirators. A continued surge in Coronavirus cases threatens to max out the New York City hospital system, as has occurred in other hotspots during the Coronavirus pandemic, like Lombardy in Italy and Wuhan in China.
De Blasio insisted:
‘The federal government doesn’t even exist at this moment… We’re on our own so let’s act self-reliant as Americans and every city, every city, produce what you can and share it with those in greatest need because until we have some evidence that our federal government is awake and conscious of the crisis, we really are on our own at this point.’
Here is what @NYCMayor says the city is in dire need of:
3 million N95 masks
50 million surgical masks
25 million protective gowns
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) March 19, 2020
The crisis is raging across the country via a shortage of not just the infamously elusive Coronavirus tests but also personal protective equipment. Trump recently revealed an order for some 500 million respirators, but according to details that emerged, those supplies could take 18 months to actually emerge. De Blasio says that New York City is in “dire need” of supplies including 3 million N95 masks, 50 million surgical masks, 15,000 ventilators, and 25 million protective gown — and all of this is needed now, not a year and a half down the road.
BREAKING: The 500 million N95 air-filtering respirator masks President Trump said the federal government ordered could take up to 18 months to be delivered. https://t.co/ZAS5HIByzs
— Bloomberg Law (@BLaw) March 19, 2020
As De Blasio put it in the meantime:
‘They’re not calling back. they’re not responding. Most important… there are no supplies moving. There’s no military mobilization. We would know, I assure you, if we were receiving supplies. We have not gotten the calls.’
Currently, New York City has some 4,000 cases of the Coronavirus and counting, and 554 people had already been hospitalized because of the illness in the city as of Thursday night. Some 169 of those patients were in intensive care units — and obviously as these numbers increase, so does the strain on the healthcare system that de Blasio is attempting to alleviate. He is “demanding the federal government mobilize the military to help in the response efforts, and stressed the city does not have enough medical supplies to last past March as cases balloon,” as local media put it.
He’s repeatedly suggested that a shelter-in-place order could be issued for the city, although the governor’s office insisted that would come from them, and it’s unclear what timetable for that may be. California issued a “stay-at-home order” on Thursday, forcing the closure of non-essential businesses across the state.