Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, Mar. 30, 2020

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

Kallos, Hoylman Honor Comfort’s Arrival

Council Member Ben Kallos
Council Member Ben Kallos

The USNS Comfort, a naval hospital ship, arrived in New York Monday morning to assist in aiding the COVID-19 pandemic. Several key local lawmakers took to Twitter to celebrate the development.

Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) expressed gratitude. “The @USNSComfort has arrived in #NYC,” he said as he retweeted Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) announcement.

“Thank you to the @USNavy for working so hard to fast-track maintenance & repairs. The ship will be a great help with serving patients from local hospitals who require surgery/emergency care & freeing up space to treat #COVID19 patients.”

Tweet from Council Member Ben Kallos

Meanwhile, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown), whose district includes Pier 88 where the Comfort is docking, tied its current efforts to the famous poem at the foot of the Statue of Liberty.

Tweet from State Senator Brad Hoylman

“’Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’” Hoylman tweeted. “We need ventilators. We need hospital beds. We need them now.”

Herzog Touts UBI During Coronavirus Outbreak

Jonathan Herzog, a former Andrew Yang campaign staffer and primary challenger to U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn), appeared on Fox News Friday to discuss his campaign. His appearance included support for universal basic income, a key policy proposal from Yang’s presidential campaign, to help Americans financially affected by the pandemic. 

 “Tragically, only the present crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have catapulted the campaign’s ideas so far into the mainstream, garnering support from the likes of the Trump administration, Sen. Mitt Romney, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” Herzog told Media Angle.

“Before COVID-19, most Americans still lived paycheck to paycheck and had little to no savings. In the midst of this pandemic, more and more elected officials are realizing that in order to keep the economy afloat, people need cash now, and that means-testing will leave millions of people behind and introduce administrative hurdles that we don’t have time for.”

Two of Stringer’s Staffers Have Coronavirus

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

Two employees of City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) caught the COVID-19 virus, the Daily News reported Wednesday. 

Their supervisors became aware after the office began a telecommuting policy two weeks earlier. 

“At the direction of Comptroller Stringer, all 770 employees of the office began working remotely on Friday, March 13th,” said Hazel Crampton-Hays, a spokesperson for Stringer. “We are following the strictest guidance from OEM and DCAS and wish our colleagues speedy recoveries. The health and safety of our entire hardworking team is our top priority.”

Meanwhile, Nicole Andrade, who heads the office’s human resources and labor relations efforts, indicated they are taking key precautions to prevent the spread of the outbreak.

“We recently received notification that two employees of our agency have tested positive for COVID-19,” she told fellow employees. “While we understand this may be troubling news, please know that we are doing and will continue to do all we can to make sure all employees remain safe and well.”