Bill De Blasio New York City

Press conference with New York City Mayor, Bill De Blasio (3/24/20)

I took these notes before I had a blog format, so please forgive them for being a bit clunky!

• The city believes the worst of this crisis is still ahead for us. Mayor Deblasio says that he expects April to be worse than March, and fears that May could be even worse than April. He did not explicitly state a timeline for when things might return to normal, but I think those of us in NYC can safely assume the city will be on some level of lockdown for the next two months.

• Alternate side parking has been suspended until March 31st.

• The city has set up learning centers for the children of essential workers who can’t be home with their family. I do not have details as to how one gets your child into one of these centers.

• We are currently at 15,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City. That number represents 85% of all cases in New York State, and a third of all cases in the country.

• The city estimates that we will need an additional 15,000 ventilators to avoid needless deaths from COVID-19. We were just sent 2,000 from the 4,000 our federal government sent to the state of New York. This still leaves us 13,000 short.

• The city has been in contact with Mike Roman of 3M, and he has committed to helping us get the masks we so desperately need for PPE. I did not catch the numbers needed/committed for this talking point.

• Our city is asking anyone who may have additional ventilators to donate their supplies, as New York City is now the epicenter of this crisis. Quite frankly, what I’m getting from the projections (me personally, not from Deblasio’s mouth) is that it’s starting to sound like New York City alone will eclipse the number of cases in Italy by next month.

• Deblasio wants to close two major streets in every borough in the hopes that the extra space will allow people room to go outside and get air while maintaining a 6ft separation from one another. He did not say which streets had been chosen. The pilot program is scheduled to begin on Thursday. There were many questions about this particular issue, and not that many answers. For one thing, if people don’t live near these major streets, how will they get there? Are we encouraging them to take public transportation? I personally don’t think that’s how a quarantine is supposed to work, but hey… I’m not the mayor. 🤷🏼‍♀️

• Our city budget is totally fucked. It will need to be balanced by June, and with that in mind the mayor has asked various departments to see where they might be able to cut costs. He says this will not mean layoffs, but it was unclear to me what budget cuts will be on the table.

• There is a concern that our hospital system will go broke in the coming months if we do not get federal aid. This is a constantly changing situation, and as of right now the city is doing everything they can to ensure our city’s healthcare is our number one priority. We are ensuring that both public and private hospitals get supplies during this crisis as if they are all the same.

• The past few days have had the lowest rate of reported crimes since our last blizzard. However, there had been a rise in the number of robberies being reported. The numbers going down have been things like sexual assault and domestic violence. The police commissioner says that he fears this is because people are simply not reporting these things. I would assume this is because some people may be sheltered in place with their abuser. If this applies to you, please call 311 and get help. I truly hope none of you are in that position!

• There are currently 211 members of the NYPD who have tested positive for the virus.

• If you are giving birth in a New York City public hospital during this crisis, your partner will be allowed in the room with you providing that they are not symptomatic and are wearing a mask.

• Citi Bike is offering a free 30 day membership to anyone who has been designated an essential worker during this crisis.

• We currently have 5,000 people in jail in New York City. In order to slow the spread of the disease to inmates, Deblasio would like to release anyone over 70, or who has the five most dangerous pre existing conditions, that has not been convicted of a violent crime. There were a ton of questions about this, but none of the answers I was looking for. How many people would be released and where do they go once they’re out? I’m sure there’ll be more to come on that subject in the future.

• Deblasio is refusing to release an emergency triage plan, explaining that we are not yet at the point of needing to prioritize anyone over anyone else.

• After speaking in English for 30 minutes, he said he would then say a few words in Spanish. And my… a few words, it truly was! He spoke in Spanish for less than one minute! Does anyone know if someone has made a Spanish parody account for him yet, like El Bloombito for Bloomberg? Lol, if not someone needs to get on it immediately!

• And lastly, my favorite part of the whole press conference was a reporter from Newsday calling Deblasio out for calling Italy “a hot mess” just a week and a half ago when they were at 15,000 cases. Oh, how the tables have turned! Deblasio said he was “misquoted” and did not apologize for his earlier remark.


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