Bill de Blasio: Without more ventilators this week, we'll lose savable lives

Henrietta Brewer
March 25, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday warned of a "challenging week ahead" as a statewide lockdown took effect amid worries the city of 8.4 million people is becoming one of the world's biggest hot spots in the spread of the new Coronavirus.

"If people are not abiding by the rules, if people are not listening to the warnings, we may get to the point in just days when we have to close the playgrounds for the duration of this crisis", de Blasio said.

De Blasio is also working with state officials and the city's district attorneys to release about 100 people who are awaiting trial in city jails and around 700 people who were in jail on parole violations, the mayor said. "It's not something I want to do, but it's something I'm ready to do", he said.

"It's only getting worse and, in fact, April and May are going to be a lot worse", he stated. "NYPD will be out making very clear to people. that we need people to deal with this new reality of social distancing".

De Blasio said the city so far has suffered 131 deaths from COVID-19.

"I do, unfortunately, believe the likelihood right now is that we lose the whole school year", he said in an interview with Pix 11, "which is really, really, deeply unfortunate". Cuomo also ordered the city over the weekend to come up with a plan for enforcing restrictions on gathering in public places, which the mayor said he will do by the Monday deadline.

According to New York City Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, the administration recently gave 25,000 laptops and tablets to children from low-income families but there are still 275,000 in need.

President Donald Trump noted on Twitter that 400 ventilators had been sent to New York City, and de Blasio said he appreciates that the president understands how crucial the equipment is. "It will have to be used on a much bigger scale to produce not only what NY is going to need. but this will be a national crisis, all 50 states".

"All Americans deserve the blunt truth", de Blasio told NBC News.

Other reports by iNewsToday