NEW YORK – Ensuring health, safety, food and a roof for all are the priorities of the budget presented this Thursday by the city of New York, some accounts of “war” in the face of the coronavirus crisis, which come accompanied by an appeal to the American president Donald Trump to allow a “rescue” of the Big Apple.
With tax revenues slumping as a result of the slowdown in economic activity, the mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced “painful” cuts of more than $ 2 billion to try to balance the budget in the year that begins in June.
According to his calculations, New York is going to lose some 7,400 million dollars in income, a “horrible” number, according to admitted De Blasio, that requires a determined intervention of the federal Government.
The mayor urged Washington to cover this deficit in full and warned that without that money, the basic needs of New Yorkers cannot be guaranteed.
“If they can find 58,000 million to rescue the airlines, surely they can find 7,500 million for the largest city in the country,” stressed the mayor.
Democrat De Blasio appealed directly to Trump, whom he asked for a clear signal of support for his hometown for Senate Republicans to give the green light to necessary aid.
As he insisted, the city is already doing everything possible on its part, with a budget of $ 89.3 billion, $ 6 billion less than the proposal that the City Council had initially made in January, $ 3.4 billion less than last year’s accounts and using the reserves he had accumulated to have “balanced” accounts.
Among other things, the budget foresees that all public activities be drastically limited and, for example, this summer the swimming pools will not be opened.
De Blasio also warned New Yorkers not to hold out too much hope about beach opening, given the risk of contagion from the coronavirus posed by the huge crowds seen in places like Coney Island.
Public resources, he insisted, will be devoted to basic issues: health, safety, food and housing.
“These are four things that people are mostly thinking about and the government has to focus on those four things. Things that would have been a priority two or three months ago cannot be now. Things we would like to focus on in times of peace cannot be the priority in times of war and these are times of war, “said de Blasio.
The Democrat also warned Trump and Republicans that their desire to restart the economy as soon as possible will be ruined if the basic needs of the population are not met or if they precipitate and cause a resurgence of COVID-19. .
Trump, De Blasio insisted, has only one chance to do this well and, if he is wrong, he will regret it for a long time.
In addition, New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea offered a video conference on Thursday to detail how the coronavirus has affected the city’s police forces to date.
Specifically, the New York police have registered 7,155 positive cases for COVID-19 among its members, about 20% of its staff and 27 officers have died from the virus.
Shea also detailed that it is estimated that between 1,400 and 1,500 of the sick police officers have returned to work.
“You start to see a little light at the end of the tunnel and it seems that the worst is over,” said Shea, who regretted the losses and asked for a moment of silence.