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Mayor Bill de Blasio appoints his wife head of coronavirus racial inequality task force

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, will head up a special coronavirus task force that looks into racial inequality as part of his plan to reopen the city. 

He added that he believes it will take more than 20 months to fully rebuild New York City.

As part of that rebuild, de Blasio announced different councils that will focus on reopening. His wife, McCray, will head the racial inequality task force. 

The First Lady, 65, will work with Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson in the role that will focus on inclusion and equity to make sure the city ‘rebounds as a better and more just society than the one we left behind,’ de Blasio said. 

The mayor defended the decision to put his wife in charge of that council, saying that her work with the embattled ThriveNYC made her qualified because of the ideas she generated, including a $250-million-a-year mental health plan. 

‘In terms of fighting inequality, Thrive has gone to that point and in many ways even farther,’ de Blasio said. ‘I think that’s exactly the kind of mindset needed for this task force.’ 

However, critics have said that the ThriveNYC is ineffective. It’s not clear how much McCray will be paid to lead the new initiative.   

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Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, will head up a special coronavirus task force that looks into racial inequality as part of his plan to reopen the city

Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, will head up a special coronavirus task force that looks into racial inequality as part of his plan to reopen the city

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, will head up a special coronavirus task force that looks into racial inequality as part of his plan to reopen the city

McCray will work with Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson in the role that will focus on inclusion and equity to make sure the city 'rebounds as a better and more just society than the one we left behind,' de Blasio said

McCray will work with Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson in the role that will focus on inclusion and equity to make sure the city 'rebounds as a better and more just society than the one we left behind,' de Blasio said

McCray will work with Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson in the role that will focus on inclusion and equity to make sure the city ‘rebounds as a better and more just society than the one we left behind,’ de Blasio said

During today’s press conference, de Blasio also said that rebuilding will take the next 20 months of his administration and ‘then far beyond that’.    

‘We’ve got a lot of work to do. And it’s going to be for me and my team a nonstop effort, a race to the finish line over these next 20 months to do the most we can to put this city on the strongest possible footing for the future,’ he added. 

As part of the plan to reopen, a series of working groups will be set up – one of those is the one McCray will head to address ‘transformation’ as the crisis has highlighted ‘many things that are broken in our city and in our country’. 

De Blasio said he hopes to have a roadmap by June 1 on how to rebuild the city after the coronavirus threat subsides.

The mayor said that city leaders he’s invited to help plan the city’s recovery should give him the roadmap by then.

He also said the latest statistics on people being treated for COVID-19 continued to be stable or decline. 

The number of people in the city’s hospital intensive care units had dropped from 785 to 768. 

According to the mayor, there will be multiple advisory councils divided up by industry and sector to help get the city back on track

According to the mayor, there will be multiple advisory councils divided up by industry and sector to help get the city back on track

According to the mayor, there will be multiple advisory councils divided up by industry and sector to help get the city back on track

De Blasio said the city can’t begin reopening until decreases continue for 10 to 14 days. He said such a fall would signal it was time for the first steps in opening up.

‘The health indicators have to give us the all clear,’ de Blasio said. ‘We restart when we have evidence. There’s no on-off switch here. It’s a series of careful, smart moves.’

According to the mayor, there will be multiple advisory councils divided up by industry and sector to help get the city back on track. 

The councils, which include groups focused on small business, public health and health care, arts, culture and tourism, and labor, will begin meeting in May.  

In an interview with Fox News, De Blasio also said that New York City needs a $7.4billion in federal aid to offset economic losses from the coronavirus.

He urged President Donald Trump to push his fellow Republicans in the Senate to back more relief funding for states and cities.

‘The federal government must make us whole for us to be able to be in a position to restart,’ De Blasio told the network.

‘If New York City is not whole, it will drag down the entire region, and it will hold up the entire national economic restart.’ 

New York has also started to test health care workers for coronavirus antibodies and will do the same next week with transit and law enforcement workers as the state eases away from the worst days of the pandemic.

Doctors, nurses and other employees at four New York City hospitals that have handled high volumes of coronavirus patients will be the first tested under the new program.

De Blasio said the city can't begin reopening until decreases continue for 10 to 14 days. He said such a fall would signal it was time for the first steps in opening up

De Blasio said the city can't begin reopening until decreases continue for 10 to 14 days. He said such a fall would signal it was time for the first steps in opening up

De Blasio said the city can’t begin reopening until decreases continue for 10 to 14 days. He said such a fall would signal it was time for the first steps in opening up

'The health indicators have to give us the all clear,' de Blasio said. 'We restart when we have evidence. There's no on-off switch here. It's a series of careful, smart moves'

'The health indicators have to give us the all clear,' de Blasio said. 'We restart when we have evidence. There's no on-off switch here. It's a series of careful, smart moves'

‘The health indicators have to give us the all clear,’ de Blasio said. ‘We restart when we have evidence. There’s no on-off switch here. It’s a series of careful, smart moves’

Antibody testing is a way of determining if a person has been infected by the coronavirus even if they hadn’t shown symptoms.

After weeks of reserving conventional coronavirus testing to people with symptoms to conserve supplies, the state is expanding eligibility to include first responders, health care workers and a long list of essential employees, such as bus drivers, dry cleaners, undertakers and grocery store workers.

‘Why? Because these people have been carrying the load and they have been subjected to the public all during this crisis, and because they’re public facing,’ Gov Andrew Cuomo said. ‘These are the people you interact with.’

Cuomo said he is signing an executive order to allow pharmacies to serve as collection points for testing samples. 

A recent study in New York City revealed that more than 20 per cent of New York City residents tested positive for coronavirus antibodies 

If accurate, that means that as many as 1.7 million people have been infected in the city – and that the mortality rate is between 0.6 and 0.8 per cent, far greater than the 0.1 per cent mortality rate of the flu.

The study took samples from 3,000 randomly selected people across the state who were chosen at grocery stores and had their blood taken via a finger-prick test that the state’s health department made.

It remains unknown how accurate it is. While private companies have given exact percentages for how accurate their own tests are, when questioned about their test, the NY health department, said only that theirs was ‘very accurate’.

Statewide, the virus prevalence was 13.9 per cent but it was far higher in New York City, where 21.2 per cent tested positive.

Courtesy DAILY MAIL

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