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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has claimed that his city requires $7.5 billion in federal aid to get back on track after being crippled by the coronavirus pandemic that has killed thousands of residents and shut down much of the city’s economy.
President Trump and other Republican leaders have resisted handing out too much aid out of concern state and local leaders are hoping to be bailed out of economic trouble that began well before COVID-19 ravaged the nation. De Blasio insisted on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that this is not the case for his city, which needs the money to recoup losses needed to pay city workers.
“That’s revenue that’s gone that pays for cops, firefighters, teachers, sanitation workers, it’s gone,” de Blasio said. “And there’s no way I’m going to get it back.” De Blasio said he expects even greater losses, and that the city’s economy “won’t come back without a stimulus.”
He claimed that the money would not be going to fix past financial errors, insisting that before the pandemic, the city was doing better than ever.
“You’ve seen what has happened in the city in recent years. Right before this pandemic, the highest level of employment in our history, booming economy, lowest crime since the 1950s, more and more kids graduating on time in our public schools than ever in our history, you name it, this city was moving forward.”
When confronted with a recent spike in shootings that have gone up 200 percent in the past week compared to the same time last year, de Blasio said, “the NYPD will fight it back,” and pointed to overall reductions in crime during his time in office.
New York has been especially hard when it comes to deaths in nursing home facilities, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has faced criticism for policies that resulted in patients who tested positive for coronavirus returning to their nursing homes and spreading the virus.
“We all have to do better, there’s no question,” de Blasio said about the nursing home situation. “We’ve been providing protective equipment to those nursing homes. We’re going to do everything we can, this is a horrible human crisis.”
The mayor said that it is the state government, not the city, which “has the regulatory role” in that situation, but said, “we’re all going to work together to fix this problem because we owe it to the people in those nursing homes and their families.”
Gov. Cuomo is allowing beaches in New York to reopen in time for the Memorial Day holiday later this month, but de Blasio will not be permitting beaches in the city to be open to the public, except for locals looking to walk. The mayor said that to avoid overcrowding, there will be no swimming permitted, no lifeguards on duty, and fencing may be put in place to keep people away.