Photo by Ryan Lahiff (image was digitally enhanced by Ryan’s team to add the mask)
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus in New York:
New York’s coronavirus case numbers are doubling every three days and Governor Cuomo is predicting that the peak is coming in two or three weeks. He said in yesterday’s press conference, “We haven’t flattened the curve. And the curve is actually increasing. The apex is higher than we thought, and the apex is sooner than we thought. That is a bad combination of facts.” Mayor de Blasio reiterated this, saying in his own press conference “We are doing all we can just to get through March right now, particularly in terms of our health care system. April will unquestionably be worse than March, and right now, my fear is May could be worse than April. That’s the reality we’re facing.”
New York State Department of Health website was last updated yesterday at 2:15 PM, with New York City cases at 25,665 state wide. New York City is reporting 15,597 as of yesterday with 4,667 cases in Queens, 4,407 in Brooklyn, 3,013 in Manhattan, 2,505 in the Bronx, and 999 in Staten Island.
Deal on $2 Trillion Economic Stimulus Plan Reached
This is the biggest economic stimulus package in American history, reports the New York Times (the 2008 stimulus bill during the last financial crisis was $800 million). The deal was made just after midnight It failed twice before the deal, blocked by Democrats who “insisted on stronger worker protections and oversight over a new $500 billion fund to bail out distressed businesses.” What it will include:
- Direct payments to individuals and families: $1200 per individual who makes up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income or less and $2,400 for families earning up to $150,000, with an additional $500 per child. It would scale down as income increases and those who make more than $99,000 individually or $198,000 as a couple would not get any direct payments. Earlier versions offered these checks only to Americans and permanent residents and possibly for two months, but no details on that yet as the text has not been hammered out.
- $500 billion for companies that have lost business due to coronavirus, but with oversight from an inspector general and an oversight board. Trump family businesses, or senior government officials, cannot get loan money under the programs, a provision fought for by Democrats. Companies that take the government funds cannot buyback stocks during the time period of the government assistance plus a year after.
- Expansion of Unemployment Benefits: extension of unemployment insurance by 13 weeks, four-month enhancement of benefits, maintenance of full salaries if forced out of work as a result of the pandemic
- Funding for states ($150 billion) and hospital in hard hit areas ($130 billion)
Cuomo Gets Deep
People have been tuning in to see Cuomo’s press conferences, a combination of hard facts and moving fireside motivational speeches. His conferences are also now being broadcast on the major news networks as well. Yesterday, in a widely shared soliloquy during a press conference held inside the Javits Center, which is under construction to become a temporary hospital:
We’re going to get through it because we are New York and because we’ve dealt with a lot of things, and because we are smart. You have to be smart to make it in New York. And we are resourceful, and we are showing how resourceful we are. And because we are united, and when you are united, there is nothing you can’t do. And because we are New York tough. We are tough. You have to be tough. This place makes you tough, but it makes you tough in a good way. We’re going to make it because I love New York, and I love New York because New York loves you. New York loves all of you. Black and white and brown and Asian and short and tall and gay and straight. New York loves everyone. That’s why I love New York. It always has, it always will. And at the end of the day, my friends, even if it is a long day, and this is a long day, love wins. Always. And it will win again through this virus.
NYC Parks May Close But Some Streets to Go Car Free
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that up to two streets in each borough will go car free to give residents more access to outdoor space with social distancing in mind. He is keeping the parks open until Saturday night, but will make a decision about whether to shut down parks indefinitely if New Yorkers are showing proper social distancing
White House Recommending Self Quarantine for Anybody Who Has Left New York
Highlighting the scale of the coronavirus spread in New York City, the White House recommended that anybody who has left New York recently should self quarantine for 14 days. The virus is spreading fast here, with an infection rate of 8-10x the rest of the country. Geographically this recommendation included the suburban areas within the NYC Metropolitan area.
Untapped New York in the News
Untapped New York founder Michelle Young was interviewed for the article in the New York Post, “How New Yorkers Have Turned Their Homes into Digital House Parties” speaking about the 18 person Google Hangout brunches she has been doing with friends all around the NYC region and as far away as Singapore. You can also read a great interview with her on Madame Architect, entitled “Untapped New York: Michelle Young on Seeing Cities Differently and Participating in Change.”
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