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The Mayor of New York City’s Plea to the Federal Government and What it Means For Health Care Workers

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Written by Devon Mitchell

As the country is facing the largest amounts of deaths and confirmed cases of COVID-19, many of those cases are in the nation’s largest metropolis: New York City. As of April 3rd, New York City surpassed 50,000 cases making one in every four cases in the United States a New York City resident. Responding to the influx of coronavirus cases, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made a plea to the federal government published in the New York Times this past Friday.  

Mayor de Blasio has called upon the federal government to enlist all doctors and health care workers to work the frontlines. There are one million doctors and 3.8 million nurses working in the United States, many of them already helping the effort to tackle COVID-19. There are still health care professionals such as retired doctors and nurses, private surgeons, dermatologists, and podiatrists who are not. The mayor suggests we enlist those who are not currently part of the effort. Next in his plea, de Blasio calls upon the military to mobilize the troops and to organize supplies and personnel to where they are needed. As many have done, the mayor compares COVID to the likeness of a war or a natural disaster and believes it is in the nation’s best interest if the federal government takes these wartime actions.  

De Blasio says, “There is only one way to save as many lives as we possibly can. It is by getting every doctor, nurse and health care worker involved in this fight — and moving them, with precision, to the right place at the right time.” Some hospitals are already taking these measures. In New York, hospitals have given their doctors a choice between working to help deal with COVID or to stay home with no pay. Other hospitals have pulled doctors who have not worked in the ER and the intensive care unit for years to the frontlines. Even some receptionists have been relocated to help screen COVID patients. Although these measures are drastic, they are necessary. We have yet to see a peak in cases and hospitals are already understaffed and don’t have the necessary supplies to care or patients.  

As of now, the federal government has not responded to de Blasio’s plea and has not implemented a draft for health care workers. The United States is facing an unprecedented enemy which calls for unprecedented solutions. In the meantime, remember to stay well informed and healthy Maroons.