Essential New York City workers could face cutbacks and time off, mayor says

Mayor Bill de Blasio warned essential New York City employees could face cuts and time off if the federal government does not provide financial assistance as the city grapples with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In cities and states across the country, people are either taking action on time off and layoffs, or preparing for time off or layoffs of the exact people who have been the heroes of this crisis that we should be celebrating and supporting – first responders, healthcare workers, educators, ”de Blasio said Wednesday morning on CNN.

“How are we going to support these people we need if we don’t have the money?

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New York City is said to have more than 300,000 full-time employees at a number of agencies, including the NYPD, the Department of Education and the FDNY.

“I have already lost $ 7.4 billion and my economy will not be able to return until I get this stimulus and get back to normal and provide these basic services,” said de Blasio. “It’s a real Catch-22. No relaunch, no recovery, no income. It is only getting worse. So for me, what the federal government needs to do is make cities and states a whole. “

He lambasted President Donald Trump, originally from New York, for forgetting “where he came from”.

The president, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have expressed reluctance to provide funding to hard-hit New York.

“I think Congress is inclined to do a lot of things, but I don’t think they are inclined to do bailouts,” the president said on Monday. “It’s not fair to Republicans because every state that needs help is run by Democrats anyway.”

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has consistently condemned the partisan approach. “This coronavirus does not choose Democrats or Republicans. It doesn’t kill Democrats or Republicans. It is killing Americans, ”he said Tuesday.

In New York City, 173,288 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, 13,938 people have died and 5,359 other deaths are believed to have died from the virus.

The mayor avoided going into details during his daily briefing on Wednesday, but doubled down on the message that stimulus funding is critical to the city’s financial health.

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“I’m not here to plan anything while we’re fighting for stimulus funding because that’s what would get us out of this mess and that’s what New York City merit, ”he said, when asked about the potential cuts.

Every city and every state that suffers deserves “stimulus funding that makes us whole,” said de Blasio. “This replaces all lost income, it allows us to keep all of our workforce, [and ensures] that utilities are provided, basic services, so that we can do a restart and recovery. ”

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