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Today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) criticized the U.S. federal government for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
He emphasized that the current situation was like a war, and therefore the government needed to “put on a war footing” and take more drastic action. He called for “emergency ICUs in hospitals not only all over New York City” but “all over America,” the “supply chain nationalized in some form,” and a “broader testing approach.” He added that the United States military also needed to “come in with their substantial logistical and medical capacity.”
De Blasio further remarked that there should be a “24/7 production cycle” on health-related products such as ventilators, surgical masks, and hand sanitizers. “Whatever factories, anywhere, can make them, should be cranking them out,” he said. “They should be distributed for federal priority, as you would in a war.”
Notably, there are worries that hospitals will not be able to cope with the strain. In a study conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, it was revealed that the United States only has 2.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people, compared to countries like South Korea and Germany, which have over 7 beds per 1,000.
De Blasio also stressed that the government needed to ensure health care workers safety:
“The thing we have to make sure is that our health care workers are safe so that they can take care of everyone else, obviously, and we’re going to lose — look, some health care workers will be infected. We have to quickly make sure they’re treated so they can come back to action.”
He warned that if these measures aren’t taken by the federal government soon, “you’re going to be losing thousands and thousands of lives that could have been saved.”
During the show, de Blasio then went on to blast Donald Trump for still keeping the military “engaged in building the border walls.” He demanded that Trump “take them off that and put them on coronavirus,” as “anything that is optional right now should be canceled and there should be a full national mobilization to protect people.”
Last Tuesday, Trump tweeted that “we need the Wall more than ever,” suggesting that the border wall will help contain the spread of the virus, and at a recent South Carolina rally, he said the coronavirus outbreak is proof that “the Democrat policy of open borders is a direct threat to the health and wellbeing of all Americans.”
However, it is questionable if the border wall will truly have any impact in preventing the spread; the number of confirmed cases in Mexico — around 50 — is a lot smaller compared to the United States, which has at least 3,500.
Globally, there are now over 170,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and approximately 6,500 fatalities.
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