Mayor de Blasio announces plan for city’s pandemic ‘rebirth’ with scant details

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the bones of the city’s pandemic recovery plan which focuses on public health and social justice on Thursday.

The agenda recognizes the link between the city’s economic health and the health of New Yorkers and the city is entering into a “transformational era,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

“There will be a rebirth, there will be a renaissance for New York City,” de Blasio told reporters during a now rare in-person press conference outside of the Alexandria Building for Life Sciences on FDR Dr. between East 28th ad East 30th Streets. ” Anyone who wants to be a part of that I invite you to the table.” 

Mayor de Blasio’s plan will “kick-off” a series of policy proposals and will focus on four principals to make the city “stronger, healthier and fairer”:

  • Continue the City’s momentum in fighting back COVID-19: The city will work with the private sector to expand lab capacity and deploy rapid, safe, and inexpensive testing, allowing businesses to stay open and the economy to move forward.
  • Make the City a hub for public health research: The city will make New York a center of innovation for public health research, design, and practice by building new research and development facilities and forge collaboration among unlikely partners – doctors and nurses, academic researchers, industry innovators, health nonprofits and economic development community organizations.
  • Create high-quality jobs: The city will encourage the creation of new, high-quality jobs that also help improve the City’s health.
  • Continue making New York the fairest city in America: The city will center service and action in neighborhoods that have carried the heaviest burden of economic and health inequities.

The New York City Economic Corporation Development opened the Pandemic Response Lab inside of the tower last week. The lab is dedicated to processing COVID-19 tests within a 24-48 hour period for NYC Health + Hospitals with the goal of processing 20,000 tests per day by November. 

Mayor de Blasio also announced a competition to speed up the development and deployment of rapid COVID-19 tests. The city is looking for tests that will cost between $5 and $10 and can be completed within 15 minutes, according to NYCEDC CEO James Patchett. The competition is national and open to international responses.  

The mayor did not give details on how the city is planning to transform the city into a stronger hub for public health research, create new high-quality jobs that improve the health of New Yorkers or how the city would better invest in low-income communities of color that bore the brunt of the pandemic. 

 Instead, de Blasio said, the city will provide detailed plans over upcoming weeks “to realize this vision.” 

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