NY-12 Coronavirus Update 3/26
As you may know, Governor Cuomo has made clear that New York State desperately needs an influx of ventilators to equip our hospitals to treat those with COVID-19. Yesterday, the entire bipartisan New York State Delegation joined my letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking him to send 20,000 ventilators to NY from the national stockpile.
On Friday, the House will take up our third coronavirus emergency relief package. This bill, while far from perfect, will get immediate help to our state; including $40 billion worth of aid. More on this bill below.
If you need help with a federal agency and navigating the changes brought on by coronoavirus mitigation efforts, please reach out to my office at 212-860-0606.
You can continue to expect these updates from me as verified and pertinent information becomes available.
Facts and Figures
- According to Johns Hopkins, there are now 69,246 positive cases across the United States with 1,046 deaths.
New York State:
- Our state has confirmed 37,258 positive cases with 5,327 hospitalizations and 385 total deaths. We remain the most impacted state in the nation.
New York City:
- The City has confirmed 21,393 cases with 280 deaths.
- On Wednesday, the entire bipartisan New York State Delegation joined in my request to HHS Sec. Azar for 20,000 ventilators for New York State from the national stockpile. New York has been able to independently obtain 7,000 ventilators. However, that still leaves us with only a small fraction of the 30,000 ventilators that medical professionals and state officials tell us they need. The federal government must step in to ensure that any equipment in reserve in the national stockpile gets directed to areas of greatest need. The national stockpile is intended for just this kind of emergency situation when there is a sudden need for materials and no time to waste in supplying frontline institutions. You can read the full letter here.
- 3.2 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week; the previous record was 695,000. This is among the many reasons we need to pass a disaster relief package.
The Third Coronavirus Relief Package
On Friday, the House will consider a third coronavirus disaster relief bill. We need to pass this emergency relief legislation to get immedate help to our hospitals, individuals, and small businesses. Let me be clear; this is disaster relief to address the immediate crisis in front us and there is still much more Congress needs to do to help restart the economy. We will begin those efforts once this relief package is signed into law.
This bill includes important wins for progressive policy proposals that Democrats fought for, including;
- a large investment in hospitals, our health system, and state and local governments to give them the resources they need during this emergency;
- a massive increase in unemployment insurance benefits so that these benefits match the average paycheck of laid-off and furloughed workers;
- a significant expansion of fast relief for small businesses, including making rent, mortgages, and utility costs eligible for Small Business Administration (SBA) loan forgiveness;
- billions of dollars for emergency education funding and the elimination of income tax on student loan repayment assistance by an employer; and
- accountability and oversight by preventing secret bailouts and adding special oversight requirements.
Importantly for New Yorkers, the expansion of unemployment insurance covers all workers, whether they work for small or larger business, are self-employed, or work in the gig economy. Of the $260 billion dedicated for this proposal, $15 billion is projected to come home to New York. Additionally, a relief fund for state and local governments is projected to send at least $5.8 billion to New York State and more than $1.4 billion to New York City.
This legislation puts workers first by banning stock buybacks for the duration that a company is receiving government assistance plus one year for any company that receives a government loan from this bill. It also establishes robust worker protections attached to all federal loans for businesses. There will be real-time public reporting of any transactions by the Treasury Department under this bill including terms of loans, investments, and other assistance to corporations. Democrats also added a retention tax credit for employers to encourage all businesses to keep workers on the payroll during this crisis and removed the “secret bailout” provision of the initial Republican proposal that would have allowed bailouts to be concealed for 6 months.
New York State
- To date, 40,000 healthcare workers, including retirees and students, have signed up as volunteers to work as part of the state's surge healthcare taskforce and we expect more to sign up in the coming days and weeks. THANK YOU to all who have already volunteered.
- More than 8,600 mental health professionals have signed up to provide free online and telehealth services. New Yokers can call the state's hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to schedule a free appointment.
New York City
- The below streets will close to vehicular traffic begin tomorrow, Friday, March 27th through Monday, March 30th (10am-7pm) as a pilot program to provide additional open spce as a means to facilitate social distancing protocols
- Manhattan: Park Ave between 28th and 34th
- Brooklyn: Bushwich Ave, between Johnson and Flushing
- Queens: 34th Ave, between 73rd and 80th
- Bronx: Grand Concourse, between E. Burnside and 184th
- The City's Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs) will be expanded to serve grocery and pharmacy workers. These centers are currently serving the children of healthcare workers, first responders, transit workers, and other essential staff.
As always, if you need assistance with any federal matters, please call my office at 212-860-0606. Please forward this information to any of your friends, families, or coworkers and let them know that they can sign up for regular updates from me here.
Please, wash your hands, stay home, and thank the medical workers, first responders, grocery store employees, delivery workers, transit workers, childcare workers, mail carriers, take-out cooks, teachers and sanitation workers in your lives.
Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress