Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, Mar. 26, 2020

COVID-19 molecule
COVID-19 (Credit: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS)

Johnson Bashes Trump Administration’s Handling of Coronavirus

Council Member Corey Johnson
Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) grilled the Trump administration’s handling of federal coronavirus relief efforts for New York City on MSNBC Thursday, Mediaite reported. 

In his interview, Johnson discussed how the pandemic has stretched resources so thin that healthcare professionals must rely on wearing garbage bags to protect them from the virus. He stated that the federal government has “clearly failed us” in providing medical supplies, and implied that existing federal relief efforts were not enough.

“This is life and death,” said Johnson. “It’s life and death for COVID-19 patients, but it’s also life and death for the health care workers and professionals that are on the front line, that are exposed to this every single day in an overrun hospital setting, and we need to get them the help they need. I hope folks in Washington are seeing these images. I’m glad that docs and nurses are sharing their stories because America needs to know this, the world needs to know this.”

Maloney, Nadler Call for Museum Funding in Recovery Package

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) and Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens)) penned a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Saturday to request a minimum of $4 billion in federal aid to nonprofit museums in the next package for coronavirus recovery, QNS reported. 

Museums add $5.4 billion to New York state’s economy annually, and 61,000 New Yorkers work in museums. The American Alliance of Museums predicts that without “immediate” and ”significant” aid, thirty percent of them could be forced out of business by the time the pandemic ends. 

“Museums cannot hold fundraising events for fear of transmitting the virus [COVID-19], and donors are understandably more hesitant to make charitable contributions given the economic uncertainty they face,” the letter read.

Williams, Brewer, Et. Al. Fight Price Gouging

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D), Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D), Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (D) and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. distributed a policy brief Wednesday to address the issue of price gouging amid the COVID-19 pandemic, BKReader reported. 

The brief encourages New Yorkers to take several steps to reduce their risk of purchasing key supplies for more than necessary during this time period. Proposals include using price tracking tools, comparing prices, wariness of open products sold individually, and closely examining the contents of such supplies. It also discourages people from purchasing Amazon products that do not have a “buy box” option.

“Price gouging is illegal and unethical. It puts personal greed over public good,” said Williams. “It’s clear that further action is needed to stop suppliers and retailers alike from this egregious profiteering against the health and safety of our neighbors, so my office is calling for increased enforcement and penalties on a city and state level, and mandated reporting to show New Yorkers that we are hearing their concerns and taking serious, direct action to protect against these unscrupulous tactics.”