Saturday, March 28, 2020

Coronavirus Pop-Up Testing Site Drive-Thru at Co-op City, Bronx, NY

A Message from Council Member Andy King 

Coronavirus Pop-Up Testing Site Drive-Thru
at Co-op City, Bronx, NY

Greetings Co-op City Residents and all Bronxites,

I am happy to announce through our joint advocacy, community and elected official that there will be a pop-up drive through testing site in Co-op City. The exact location will be by the AMC Bay Plaza Cinema, in the back of the Bay Plaza Mall. 

The goal is to have the pop-up site running by this Monday, March 30th

Hours of Operations:
Sunday – Saturday (7 days/week)
Hours: 8:00AM – 6:00PM

Please note - this will be a Mobile Testing Drive Thru, by Appointment Only – go to:            
Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

We will keep you posted as additional information is provided to us.

Our Sincere thank you to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his leadership in these trying times!

Thank you to my colleagues in government (Senator Jamaal Bailey, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Congressman Eliot Engel, Speaker Carl Heastie) for sharing one voice for us to serve the residents of Co-op City and The Bronx!

God Bless All!


Friday, March 27, 2020

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Narco-Terrorism Charges Against Nicolas Maduro, Current And Former Venezuelan Officials, And Farc Leadership

Venezuela’s Vice President for the Economy and Others Separately Charged with Evading OFAC Sanctions In Connection With Maduro’s 2018 Presidential Campaign

  William Barr, the Attorney General of the United States, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Brian Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, Uttam Dhillon, Acting Administrator of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and Alysa D. Erichs, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Acting Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced the unsealing of two separate indictments charging current and former Venezuelan officials and FARC leadership.  One Superseding Indictment includes narco-terrorism, drug trafficking, and weapons charges against NICOLÁS MADURO MOROS, Diosdado CABELLO RONDÓN, HUGO ARMANDO CARVAJAL BARRIOS, a/k/a “El Pollo,” CLÍVER ANTONIO ALCALÁ CORDONES, LUCIANO MARÍN ARANGO, a/k/a “Ivan Marquez,” and SEUXIS PAUCIS HERNÁNDEZ SOLARTE, a/k/a “Jesús Santrich.”  The other Superseding Indictment alleges violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (“Kingpin Act”), and a related conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), against TARECK ZAIDAN EL AISSAMI MADDAH, JOSELIT RAMIREZ CAMACHO, and SAMARK LOPEZ BELLO.  The charges are contained in separate Superseding Indictments unsealed today in Manhattan federal court.  Both cases are pending before U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.

The U.S. Department of State, through its Narcotics Rewards Program, is offering rewards of up to $15 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of MADURO MOROS, up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of CABELLO RONDÓN, CARVAJAL BARRIOS, and ALCALÁ CORDONES, and up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of MARÍN ARANGO.  Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest and/or conviction of Maduro Moros, Cabello Rondón, Carvajal Barrios, or Marín Arango can email the DEA at, or message the DEA at 1-202-681-8187 using text messages, WhatsApp, or Signal. 
The U.S. Department of State is also offering rewards of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of EL AISSAMI MADDAH.  Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest and/or conviction of EL AISSAMI MADDAH can contact HSI 1-866-347-2423.
Attorney General William Barr said: “The Venezuelan regime, once led by Nicolás Maduro Moros, remains plagued by criminality and corruption. For more than 20 years, Maduro and a number of high-ranking colleagues allegedly conspired with the FARC, causing tons of cocaine to enter and devastate American communities. Today’s announcement is focused on rooting out the extensive corruption within the Venezuelan government – a system constructed and controlled to enrich those at the highest levels of the government. The United States will not allow these corrupt Venezuelan officials to use the U.S. banking system to move their illicit proceeds from South America nor further their criminal schemes.”
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Today we announce criminal charges against Nicolas Maduro for running, together with his top lieutenants, a narco-terrorism partnership with the FARC for the past 20 years.  The scope and magnitude of the drug trafficking alleged was made possible only because Maduro and others corrupted the institutions of Venezuela and provided political and military protection for the rampant narco-terrorism crimes described in our charges.  As alleged, Maduro and the other defendants expressly intended to flood the United States with cocaine in order to undermine the health and well being of our nation.  Maduro very deliberately deployed cocaine as a weapon.  While Maduro and other cartel members held lofty titles in Venezuela’s political and military leadership, the conduct described in the Indictment wasn’t statecraft or service to the Venezuelan people.   As alleged, the defendants betrayed the Venezuelan people and corrupted Venezuelan institutions to line their pockets with drug money.”
DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said:  “These indictments expose the devastating systemic corruption at the highest levels of Nicolas Maduro’s regime.  These officials repeatedly and knowingly betrayed the people of Venezuela, conspiring, for personal gain, with drug traffickers and designated foreign terrorist organizations like the FARC. Today’s actions send a clear message to corrupt officials everywhere that no one is above the law or beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement.  The Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration will continue to protect the American people from ruthless drug traffickers – no matter who they are or where they live.”
ICE Acting Executive Associate Director for HSI Alysa D. Erichs said:  “The collaborative nature of this investigation is representative of the ongoing work HSI and international law enforcement agencies perform each day, often behind the scenes and unknown to the public, to make our communities safer and free from corruption.  Today’s announcement highlights HSI’s global reach and commitment to aggressively identify, target and investigate individuals who violate U.S. laws, exploit financial systems, and hide behind cryptocurrency to further their illicit criminal activity. Let this indictment be a reminder that no one is above the law - not even powerful political officials.”
According to the allegations contained in the Superseding Indictment charging MADURO MOROs and others, other court filings, and statements made during court proceedings[1]:
Since at least 1999, MADURO MOROS, DIOSDADO CABELLO RONDÓN, HUGO CARVAJAL BARRIOS, a/k/a “El Pollo,” and CLÍVER ALCALÁ CORDONES, acted as leaders and managers of the Cártel de Los Soles, or “Cartel of the Suns.”  The Cartel’s name refers to the sun insignias affixed to the uniforms of high-ranking Venezuelan military officials. MADURO MOROS and the other charged Cartel members abused the Venezuelan people and corrupted the legitimate institutions of Venezuela – including parts of the military, intelligence apparatus, legislature, and the judiciary – to facilitate the importation of tons of cocaine into the United States.  The Cártel de Los Soles sought not only to enrich its members and enhance their power, but also to “flood” the United States with cocaine and inflict the drug’s harmful and addictive effects on users into the United States.
MARÍN ARANGO and HERNÁNDEZ SOLARTE are leaders of the FARC.  Beginning in approximately 1999, while the FARC was purporting to negotiate toward peace with the Colombian government, FARC leaders agreed with leaders of the Cártel de Los Soles to relocate some of the FARC’s operations to Venezuela under the protection of the Cartel.  Thereafter, the FARC and the Cártel de Los Soles dispatched processed cocaine from Venezuela to the United States via transshipment points in the Caribbean and Central America, such as Honduras.  By approximately 2004, the United States Department of State estimated that 250 or more tons of cocaine were transiting Venezuela per year.  The maritime shipments were shipped north from Venezuela’s coastline using go-fast vessels, fishing boats, and container ships.  Air shipments were often dispatched from clandestine airstrips, typically made of dirt or grass, concentrated in the Apure State.  According to the United States Department of State, approximately 75 unauthorized flights suspected of drug trafficking activities entered Honduran airspace in 2010 alone, using what is known as the “air bridge” cocaine route between Venezuela and Honduras.
In his role as a leader of the Cártel de Los Soles, MADURO MOROS negotiated multi-ton shipments of FARC-produced cocaine; directed that the Cártel de Los Soles provide military-grade weapons to the FARC; coordinated foreign affairs with Honduras and other countries to facilitate large-scale drug trafficking; and solicited assistance from FARC leadership in training an unsanctioned militia group that functioned, in essence, as an armed forces unit for the Cártel de Los Soles.
The Defendants
MADURO MOROS is the former president of Venezuela.  He previously held a seat in the Venezuelan National Assembly between approximately 2000 and approximately 2006, acted as the Venezuelan foreign minister between approximately 2006 and approximately 2013, and acted as the vice president of Venezuela in approximately 2013.  MADURO MOROS succeeded to the Venezuelan presidency after Hugo Chávez died in 2013 and, during his presidency, continued to participate in cocaine trafficking with the Cártel de Los Soles and the FARC.  In approximately 2018, MADURO MOROS declared victory in a presidential election in Venezuela.  In approximately 2019, the National Assembly of Venezuela invoked the Venezuelan constitution and declared that MADURO MOROS had usurped power and was not the president of Venezuela.  Since approximately 2019, more than 50 countries, including the United States, have refused to recognize MADURO MOROS as Venezuela’s head of state and instead recognized Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela.  In approximately January 2020, the U.S. State Department certified the authority of Guaidó, as the interim president of Venezuela, to receive and control property in accounts at the United States Federal Reserve maintained by the Venezuelan government and the Central Bank of Venezuela.
CABELLO RONDÓN is president of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly, and a member of the Venezuelan armed forces.  CABELLO RONDÓN previously acted as chief of staff to Chávez in approximately 2001, vice president of Venezuela in approximately 2002, governor of Venezuela’s Miranda State between approximately 2004 and approximately 2008, and president of Venezuela’s National Assembly between approximately 2012 and approximately 2016.
CARVAJAL BARRIOS is a Venezuelan citizen and was the director of Venezuela’s military intelligence agency, which was known as the Dirección de Inteligencia Militar (“DIM”), between approximately 2004 and approximately 2011.  In approximately April 2011, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York filed the original indictment in this case, charging CARVAJAL BARRIOS with drug trafficking, 11 Cr. 205 (AKH).  Nonetheless, in approximately 2013, MADURO MOROS made CARVAJAL BARRIOS the director of the DIM for a second time.  Between approximately January 2014 and approximately June 2014, CARVAJAL BARRIOS held the title of Venezuela’s consul general to Aruba.  In approximately January 2016, despite being a fugitive on the above-described drug trafficking charges, CARVAJAL BARRIOS was elected to the Venezuelan National Assembly.  As of today, CARVAJAL BARRIOS remains a fugitive on pending charges in underlying indictments in the Southern District of New York and subject to a lawful order of extradition issued by Spain in approximately 2019.
ALCALÁ CORDONES is a former general in the Venezuelan military.
MARÍN ARANGO joined the FARC in approximately 1985.  In approximately 2006, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York filed a drug trafficking charge against 50 leaders of the FARC, including MARÍN ARANGO.  As of today, MARÍN ARANGO is a fugitive on that charge and a member of the FARC’s Secretariat, which is the FARC’s highest leadership body.
HERNÁNDEZ SOLARTE joined the FARC in approximately 1991.  As of today, HERNÁNDEZ SOLARTE is a member of the FARC’s Central High Command, which is the FARC’s second-highest leadership body.  As described below, in approximately 2018, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York filed drug trafficking charges against HERNÁNDEZ SOLARTE.  HERNÁNDEZ SOLARTE remains a fugitive on those charges.
*                *                *
MADURO MOROS, 57, CABELLO RONDÓN, 56, CARVAJAL BARRIOS, 59, ALCALÁ CORDONES, 58, MARÍN ARANGO, 64, and HERNÁNDEZ SOLARTE, 53, have each been charged with: (1) participating in a narco-terrorism conspiracy, which carries a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence and a maximum of life; (2) conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, which carries a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence and a maximum of life; (3) using and carrying machine guns and destructive devices during and in relation to, and possessing machine guns and destructive devices in furtherance of, the narco-terrorism and cocaine importation conspiracies, which carries a 30-year mandatory minimum sentence and a maximum of life; and (4) conspiring to use and carry machine guns and destructive devices during and in relation to, and to possess machine guns and destructive devices in furtherance of, the narco-terrorism and cocaine importation conspiracies, which carries a maximum sentence of life.  The potential mandatory minimum and maximum sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA’s Special Operations Division Bilateral Investigations Unit, New York Strike Force, and Miami Field Division, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. 
This case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amanda L. Houle, Matthew J. Laroche, Jason A. Richman, and Kyle A. Wirshba are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
*                *                *
A separate Superseding Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court charges TARECK ZAIDAN EL AISSAMI MADDAH, Venezuela’s vice president for the economy, JOSELIT RAMIREZ CAMACHO, Venezuela’s superintendent of cryptocurrency (Sunacrip), and SAMARK LOPEZ BELLO, a Venezuelan businessman, with violations of IEEPA, the Kingpin Act, and other offenses related to efforts to evade sanctions imposed by OFAC against MADURO MOROS, EL AISSAMI MADDAH, and LOPEZ BELLO. 
According to the allegations contained in the Superseding Indictment charging EL AISSAMI MADDAH and others, other court filings, and statements made during court proceedings[2]:
From February 2017 until March 2019, EL AISSAMI MADDAH and RAMIREZ CAMACHO worked with U.S. persons and U.S.-based entities to provide private flight services for the benefit of MADURO MOROS’s 2018 presidential campaign, in violation of OFAC’s sanctions targeting MADURO MOROS after he organized elections for the illegitimate National Constituent Assembly that CABELLO RONDÓN now leads. 
*                *                *
EL AISSAMI MADDAH, 45, RAMIREZ CAMACHO, 33, and LOPEZ BELLO, 45, are charged with: (1) conspiracy to obstruct the lawful governmental functions of OFAC, which carries a maximum of 5 years’ imprisonment; (2) conspiracy to violate the Kingpin Act, which carries a maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment; and (3) four substantive violations of the Kingpin Act, each of which carries a maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment.  EL AISSAMI MADDAH and RAMIREZ CAMACHO are also charged with: (4) conspiracy to violate IEEPA, which carries a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment; and (5) conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment. The potential mandatory minimum and maximum sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of HSI’s New York Field Office, as well as OFAC, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, and the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division. 
This case is also being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sam Adelsberg and Amanda L. Houle are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Superseding Indictment, and the description of the Superseding Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.
[2] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Superseding Indictment, and the description of the Superseding Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.    

Governor Cuomo Announces Significant Donations to Help Increase The State's Supply Capacity Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the state has received significant donations from a number of major corporations, philanthropic organizations and celebrities to help increase the state's supply capacity amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The donations include personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, equipment for field hospitals, free flights for incoming medical volunteers and other medical supplies and support items. Additionally, other companies and individuals have reached out about making donations and the state is engaged with them to secure those donations.

"New York is fighting a war against this virus and we need all the help we can get," Governor Cuomo said. "The generosity of these companies, organizations and individuals — and many others coming forward every day to offer support — will play a critical role in our mission to bolster our hospital surge capacity, support frontline workers and get people the help they need. On behalf of the family of New York, I am deeply grateful for their generosity. We will get through this difficult time together, with the kindness, strength and tenacity that New York is known for."

A breakdown of initial donations is available below:

  • Goldman Sachs: 195,000 masks
  • Boll and Branch: 1,000 hospital mattresses
  • Restore Global: 150,000 coveralls
  • Facebook: 2,500 gallons of hand sanitizer
  • Rihanna Foundation: Various PPE supplies
  • Dominion Energy: Masks
  • L'Oréal: Hand sanitizer
  • SoftBank: 1.4 million N-95 masks
  • Suburban Propane: Propane services for generators and heaters
  • Wayfair: Mattresses, linens, sheets and pillows for field hospitals
  • Jet Blue: Free flights for incoming medical volunteers
  • Walmart: Use of parking lots and store facilities infrastructure
  • Niagara Bottling: 560,000 bottles of water
  • Keurig/Dr. Pepper: Coffee and beverages for volunteers working in the field
  • Four Seasons Hotel on 57th Street in Manhattan: Providing their facility to serve as free housing for nurses, doctors and medical personnel currently working to respond to the coronavirus outbreak
  • St Regis Hotel: Providing their facility for non-critical care patients or medical personnel
  • The Plaza Hotel: Providing their facility for non-critical care patients or medical personnel
  • Yotel: Providing their facility for non-critical care patients for a month
  • Room Mate Grace Hotel: Providing their facility to serve as free housing for nurses, doctors and medical personnel currently working to respond to the coronavirus outbreak
  • Wythe Hotel: Offering free hotel rooms through April for nurses, doctors and medical personnel currently working to respond to the coronavirus outbreak
  • Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos: $1 million
  • JUDY: 25,000 N-95 masks
  • Amneal: 20,000 bottles of Hydroxychloroquine
  • The Estée Lauder Companies: 10,000 hand sanitizer bottles (8 ounces each) per week for 4-5 weeks
  • Long Island Ambulatory Surgery Center: Ventilator
  • Uniqlo: 1.05 million masks
  • The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York: 12 ventilators and thousands of pieces of PPE
  • Corning Life Sciences: 60,000 15ml centrifuge tubes and 40,000 4ml cryovials
  • NBCUniversal: Medical supplies and PPE
  • Huawei: 10,000 N-95 masks; 20,000 isolation gowns; 50,000 medical goggles; and 10,000 gloves
  • Office of Attorney General Letitia James: 1,700 protective masks and 33,000 pairs of gloves

"First responders have once again demonstrated leadership and bravery in trying times, continuing to put their own wellbeing on the line for the sake of others," said Attorney General James. "We cannot allow our doctors and nurses to become patients themselves. That's why we must move heaven and earth to protect them and keep them safe, so that they return home safe to their loved ones. We also thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership during these trying times and for fighting every day for the best interests of New Yorkers. May God be with them all, always."

MAYOR DE BLASIO ON COVID-19 - March 26, 2020,

  Mayor Bill de Blasio: I want to give you a couple of updates on things are happening around the city and how we're addressing this crisis. Every day I think we're learning about the sheer challenge we're facing and all the forms it takes and every single day we're making changes. We're adding new approaches, new strategies. We're getting help from the state, from the federal government, from all over. Things are changing day by day, hour by hour. We find new challenges, we find those solutions, and, of course, we find the extraordinary efforts of New Yorkers to address this crisis. There is a lot more to do. Especially in terms of our federal government, a lot more to do. But I can at least say that we see on many, many fronts, help coming in. And I'll talk about, of course what happened in Washington yesterday with the stimulus bill. Many forms that help but also immense challenges that we're facing.

There's just nothing we've been through that could possibly compare to what we're experiencing now and where we’re going and it will be a long, tough fight. And I'm going to keep saying that because I know there are a lot of voices out there trying to act like we can turn the page soon, and I just don't believe that's true, and I don't think it's helpful for people to be given false hope. I want to give people real hope. Real hope comes from the extraordinary commitment and hard work of our health care workers and our first responders and all the people that are protecting us right now. Real hope comes from the resiliency in New Yorkers. Real hope comes from real support. Every time a ventilator arrives, every time we get more supplies we need, every time the military comes to help us, those are the causes for me for real hope. But it's going to be a long, tough fight and we're going to be stronger if we understand that, than if we try and wish away something that in fact, we're not able to change entirely right now.

Let me talk about the overall situation, and it continues to be numbers I can barely even comprehend. I know a lot of you feel the same and they all represent real human beings, real families. Total cases as of this morning in New York City, 21,873. A number that would have been unimaginable just a couple of weeks ago. Deaths in New York City, we've now lost 281 of our fellow New Yorkers to this disease. So, we got a tough time ahead, and that's obviously particularly true in our health care system. I want to take a moment to talk to all those who are doing extraordinarily valiant work right now all over New York City. Doctors, nurses, all health care workers, everyone who works in a hospital, whatever your job is, every single one of you are doing something heroic and really difficult and absolutely necessary to save the lives of your fellow New Yorkers.

There's a phrase we use. We say people have gone above and beyond the call. Well, all of you are doing that now in a way that we're going to remember. We're not just going to remember it next week, or next month, or next year. We're going to remember it for the rest of the history of New York City, oh and forward. It'll be part of a chapter in this city's history that will be unforgettable. That all of you stood up, all of you showed up, all of you gave your all, under very, very trying circumstances, because none of us have experienced anything like this, and it came out of nowhere. So, I want to say on behalf of all 8.6 million New Yorkers, a thank you to all our health care workers, and not only our gratitude, not only our words, but our deeds. That's what we should show our thanks through.

You deserve, and you must have, and you will have, the supplies you need. One way or another, we're going to get them to you every day. It will not be easy and we absolutely must get federal help if we're going to be able to sustain this. But my commitment is, if it is available anywhere in the United States of America, and we can get our hands on it, those supplies we'll get to you immediately to protect you, to allow you to do the lifesaving work you're doing. This is going to be a day to day, hour to hour reality. I keep saying, I know this week that we have the supplies in this city we need. I hope we can get through next week, but that is literally as far over the horizon as I can see right now in any way that I can feel comfortable about, because I need to know we're going to have what we need for our health care workers and our people.

But any health care worker who's out there who feels afraid or worried, we all stand with you, we understand why you might feel that. Anyone who feels resolute about serving their patients but is worried about supplies, I understand that, and I want to make sure you don't have to worry. That you can see the supplies coming and know there'll be there. It's understandable that health care institutions, hospitals, clinics are trying to be careful about their use of supply. They're trying to make sure that we'll always have it going forward. But we also have to make really clear to our health care workers that any supplies we get from Washington, from Albany, from the private sector, are immediately being turned around to our hospitals and our health care facilities, and I want people to see more and more evidence of that. We're going to show it very publicly. And to all of you who are experiencing challenges, we need to hear from you. We need to understand what you need, so we can get the job done for you, and thank you for all you are doing.

Now, I've said throughout this crisis, there's a lot of that we're facing, but we also have some extraordinary advantages and one of them is that we have the best public health system in the nation. We have the largest, we have the best by far. Health + Hospitals is an amazing organization that's only gotten stronger in recent years, but now it's under a tremendous amount of stress. And obviously Elmhurst hospital in Queens is right now the epicenter within the epicenter, dealing with an extraordinary surge of cases. It also happens to be an extraordinary hospital. It's renowned within our public health care system as one of the very best hospitals we have, with an incredibly committed staff who have been able to deal with so many challenges before with great skill, great compassion, great ability, and that's what they're doing right now.

The folks at Elmhurst Hospital, the folks doing this noble work, need supplies, and I'm committed to getting you supplies. In fact, in the last 10 days, we have four times resupplied Elmhurst Hospital with additional ventilators, and we will keep doing that until we're at the point that Elmhurst absolutely always has more than enough ventilators. Today we sent over 40 additional ventilators that have arrived at Elmhurst. This'll be an ongoing commitment to make sure that that hospital and all our public hospitals have whatever they need at any given point in time. If we have it, it will get to you. We also sent today to Elmhurst hospital, 56 additional staff members to deal with the challenges that they're facing, and again, we will keep adding as needed. We have to make sure that they really, really hardworking doctors, nurses, all the health care workers who have dealt with the sudden surge. We need to give them a break as quickly as possible. We need to bring additional folks in to give them, to spell them, to give them a chance to catch up, catch their breath, get a little downtime, so they'll be able to continue on going forward. So, it's crucial that we get more and more support into Elmhurst and we will do that.

So, in terms of our entire health care system, public and voluntary nonprofit, the whole picture. Look, before the coronavirus came to New York City, we basically had 20,000 hospital beds with everything that was needed. All the staffing, the equipment, everything that you would need to fully attend to a patient in a hospital bed. That number about 20,000. Once upon a time, and once upon a time was only weeks ago, that was a really big number and that was certainly sufficient to handle demand every day in New York City. In fact, there are people who used to talk about there were too many hospital beds in New York City. Well that 20,000 number, that once seemed so impressive, now it's only a part of what we need to deal with the coronavirus. Our goal is to triple the number of hospital beds in the city by May. Now, that's an extraordinarily difficult goal, and I am not going to look you in the eye and tell you, I can guarantee you we will get there, because we have so many challenges. The bed, again is only one part of the challenge. Location is only one part of the challenge. We need the equipment, we need the supplies, and we need the highly trained personnel. All of that we're working on simultaneously. And this is where the federal government, again could be absolutely crucial and I've been very clear about what could be done on the federal level that could affect that entire equation in our favor, particularly when it comes to things like personnel. The reality is we have a very, very difficult goal to reach, but it is our goal and we will every single day work to achieve it. The surge plans that the state put forward asking every hospital in the city to increase capacity. I think it was a very good strategy. We'll add at least 7,000 beds quickly. And that's a crucial part of what we need to do.

We've obviously – in addition to what can be done in hospitals, it is crucial to find new locations either facilities that are health care-related where we can put in more beds or facilities that weren't health care at all, but where we can now create a crucial new capacity. So, those new locations in places like Coler Hospital, part of Health + Hospital system, Javits Center, obviously a convention center had nothing to do with health care, now it does. And the Federal Government, FEMA, State of New York are playing a leading role there to get that up and running— with the surges in the hospital with the additional beds outside the hospitals. That gets us to almost 34,000 beds compared to the 20,000 we had just weeks ago. That is a very, very important start in addressing this crisis. But as I said, my goal was to get us to not just 34,000, but then the 40,000 to 50,000, ultimately to 60,000 if we can get there. And if this crisis continues to build the weight, we think it will, I would love nothing more and I know you would love nothing more than to find out in fact we got some relief from this crisis and the numbers got better and the human misery got reduced and there were fewer and fewer cases. That day comes, maybe won't need 60,000 hospitals, but I cannot depend on maybe I have to prepare this city for the toughest scenario and that's what we're doing right now.

On supplies, look, there's nothing more important than ventilators – we’ve all talked about this, I really didn't know a lot about ventilators a month ago. Now, I know something, at least I've realized that a ventilator, it's, you know, we could put one right here on this desk. It goes in a packet that's about the size of a suitcase, but it is a lifesaver, as simple as that. If you have a ventilator, you can save a life. You can keep someone going, get them through this crisis so they can recover. You don't have a ventilator people die who didn't need to die it's as simple as that. This is one of the most important pieces in this whole puzzle, getting enough ventilators, getting them quick. 500 have come in through our efforts working with the White House, working directly with the administration to get immediate direct supplies to New York City and that's been very helpful this week. In addition, 2,000 more from FEMA – about half of them are here in New York City now over a thousand already here, the remainder coming in the next couple of days. So, when you combine all that 2,500 more ventilators that will have a few days from now, we'll have about 2,500 more ventilators than we had say 10 days ago. That's hugely important, that's only about a sixth of what we are going to need to get through this entire crisis. We predicted this moment, we need 15,000 ventilators and we are pushing every possible button. We're looking under every stone we're calling all over the country to find every ventilator we can get and soon we'll be talking about the efforts to create them right here in New York City as well. But my deep concern remains that the Federal Government is not using it to its full disposal of the Defense Production Act.

That's the game changer, that's where we could get a lot more ventilators built around this country, manufactured and shipped to New York City in time. While this crisis is raging and every ventilator comes here when we don't need it of course when the crisis is over, we're going to help make sure it gets to other parts of the country that need it. But we've got to get to that number and we got to get to that number fast. Today I saw a great example of New Yorkers stepping up to help fellow New Yorkers at the Brooklyn Navy yard an amazing example. This is something that just a few days ago, not only didn't exist, but the idea didn't even exist. And I want to thank Michael Bednark, of Bednark Studios and Michael Duggal of Duggal Greenhouse. They are doing amazing work working with everyone at the Brooklyn Navy yard, led by David Ehrenberg.

They literally came up with idea just days ago, they said, we need to help our health care workers, our first responders, we're going to create face shields. And they literally decided they would create a factory in a place that wasn't a factory, they would create a factory from scratch to make these face shields. They'd find the equipment, the different elements, they'd find the different supplies they'd get a plan, they bring it to the Department of Health. As recently as Sunday night was when they got this plan approved by the Department of Health to come up with their own version of face shield to protect all of our crucial leaders and crucial folks in the health care field our first responders, all the people out there at the front line doing such important work. This brand-new idea out of nowhere was this was put into production these face shields were put into production yesterday. They're at full bore today, they will on Friday ship 50,000 face shields to the Department of Health to distribute to hospitals all over New York City and to first responders. By next Tuesday, they’ll have 120,000 made— this is just an inspiring, beautiful effort and we're going to make sure New Yorkers see a lot about this and understand how powerful this is. And what it means is for the future, so many New Yorkers are just finding many, many ways to help each other. So, we need more of that coming you're going to see a surgical mask, gloves, surgical gowns, all sorts of things being built right here in New York City manufactured right here to protect our fellow New Yorkers. None of that takes the Federal Government off the hook, I want to be clear, and we need everything that is being produced here just to keep going day to day.

We need the Federal Government to come in with a really big numbers that really big supplies if we're going to get all the way through April into May, but we're going to help ourselves in the meantime every way we can. Finally, couple updates, there's been a lot of concern about the situation in our jails. Want to give you an update that I'll keep doing every day I'll give you an updated number. We are looking to release the inmates that we think are appropriate to release— that we think do not pose a threat to the community. And we're also very, very concerned there are inmates with very serious preexisting conditions, inmates who are much older. We have an obligation to think about them the same way we think about all New Yorkers who are in those high-risk categories. So, we're working that through.

I'll give you updates regularly about where we stand – we have to work in many cases with the district attorneys in the states – state governor, I should say, to get to a specific decisions case by case, but we'll keep updating you. So, as of last night, 200 inmates from our jail system had been released from the beginning of this process, 200 that action last night allowed us to hit a major, major milestone and none of us expected this crisis. But one thing that has come out of it has that our jail population continues to decline. Last night we went below 5,000 inmates in our jail system again, last night we went to below 5,000 inmates in our jail system in a City of 8.6 million people. The last time the New York City jail system had fewer than 5,000 inmates was 1949 right after World War II. So, this is an important a note against the backdrop of this crisis, something happening that has a real value in other ways, even though it's part of addressing this crisis. It should be noted as an important moment by tonight, by the end of the day, going into tonight that number of inmates released will go from 200 up to 375 and we will keep giving you updates as we go along. So, I wanted you hear about that, just to officially know that now our jail population as of this morning is 4,906.

On supermarkets, there's a lot of concern to make sure we keep our supermarkets clear so people go in there, can shop, observe social distancing, not be crowded, not end up being in a situation that violates the rules we put forward. We need everyone to stick to that idea. So a couple of thoughts, first of all to again, the store owners, the store managers, the employees, very, very important to practice social distancing and insist on social distance in any line inside or outside the store needs to be distanced six feet between the person before them and after them constantly have to make that happen. We have to be conscious about limiting the number of people coming into a store, if you start to see an overcrowding situation again, if that means the line outside, keep that line distanced. To any storeowner or store manager or employee says, wait a minute, we need some help to do that, we need some backup, we need some enforcement. Just pick up the phone and call 311 and we will get you help quickly. Whether it comes from the NYPD, the Fire Department, the Sheriff's Office, Buildings Department, whatever it is — members of our City Government will come to you and we'll help you achieve that social distance and you're not alone in doing this, we want to help you do it. Call 311 and we will get help to you quickly, but we've got to get this done.

Finally, a recommendation for all store owners; this will certainly be true for grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, if you can - and some it will be easier, some will be harder, but if you can, there’ve been a lot of requests to institute senior citizen hours early in the day. So, the idea would be to set up a time – and I'm going to suggest something like 6:00 am to 8:00 am where only seniors come into shop. Look, this is a suggestion, this is a recommendation. It's something that is not typical, but, in this crisis, people are adapting and you know, getting used to very different realities. I think all New Yorkers want to make sure our seniors are safe and they get what they need. So, having those early morning hours available to any pharmacy or grocery store supermarket, anyone who can do it, whether it's six to eight or whatever version you choose; letting seniors have that time, that's just for them, keeping the crowds low, making it a little easier on them - a lot of them are up early and can get to you. If you can do that, it would really help, if we can stretch things out, it would really, really help to avoid social distancing other times of the day. I mean, excuse me, to ensure social distancing, to avoid crowding, my apology.

So, everyone, just to finish and then we'll take questions from the media and I will be joined by Dr. Oxiris Barbot remotely, our health commissioner. I talked earlier about our health care workers, our doctors, our nurses – every single human being whose working in a hospital right now, whatever your job title, you're a hero, we need you, you’re at the front line. I want to also remember at the same time our, everyone at EMS, everyone emergency [inaudible] medical service who is constantly there saving New Yorkers. We depend on them 24/7, you know, you call 9-1-1 and [inaudible] as New Yorkers, we expect not only an ambulance to arrive quickly, but some of the best professionals anywhere in the world to be there and they are, and they've been great throughout this crisis. They're dealing with a lot, but they've been there for us every single day and I want to thank everyone at EMS for all you are doing.

And I want to thank the folks who get even less attention, I would say. I want to make sure EMS gets their fair share of attention and their praise and their appreciation, but our voluntary ambulance services, community based, neighborhood-based ambulance services that really play a crucial role as well, a lot of times they get low overlooked. I want to thank all of you for all you do for our communities and especially in this time of crisis and I'll make sure to, make sure to use Twitter and other forums to thank each of your organizations individually for everything you're doing. We appreciate it and it makes a big difference.

I conclude before saying a few words in Spanish by saying, it'll be a hell of a challenge these weeks ahead, but there's nowhere on earth where people meet a challenge like New York City and I want to thank you all, I know it's tough. I know people are really, really changing your lives, but you're also doing it in a way that's inspirational and showing the whole nation what it looks like to deal with a crisis, and, and do it with strength and dignity and resolve and I want to thank you all for that.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

How to Enjoy Sex During COVID-19, From the NYC Department of Health

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MAYOR DE BLASIO ON COVID-19 - March 25, 2020

  Mayor Bill de Blasio: I want to give everyone an update. This is another day where a lot is going on here in New York City of course, but also in Washington. That will mean a lot for us. I'm going to speak about that in a moment. I want to explain from the beginning how important I think it is to tell you information that I believe is 100 percent accurate, that I believe is crucial for New Yorkers to know, and to tell you information that sometimes will be tough to hear, other times, thank God, will be hopeful and inspiring information that will show just how many people are working hard together to address this crisis, how many people are working together here in the city, but also all the people around the country, and not only rooting for New York City, but are really stepping up to help us out. I'll tell you those stories and those facts and I'll tell you the facts when they're difficult to hear, but important for all New Yorkers to know.

What I'm always going to be careful about is not to tell you something if I am not certain it's accurate information. A lot of times we're going to see really fast changing developments, a lot of times we're going to have information that we do not think is complete because of this ever-changing situation or information that might be inadvertently misleading to New Yorkers instead of giving you the complete picture. My job is to always try and sort that out and do the best I can to level with you about the challenge and what we do about it, but also constantly tell you the good news to, all of the things that are being done to address this challenge.

One thing I believe very, very strongly is to be honest about the timeline here. It's been a lot of discussion in the last few days. You've heard people talk about the hope that we can get back to normal really quickly in this city and in this country. I want to tell you that we should not cling to that false hope. I want to get back to normal as much as anyone. And maybe after a period of time if we saw sustained progress, really, really had evidence of progress, we could have had that conversation. But we're seeing right now unfortunately, a growing challenge, a growing crisis that's clearly going to take us into April in a really tough situation and for everything we know now we're going continue to deal with more and more challenges in April. And I have tried to be honest with everyone to not get into a situation where we let our guard down. We start to have false hopes. I think we're much better off being girded for battle and knowing the truth. So, I believe that April is going to be tougher than March. And I think at this point May could be tougher than April and people need to be ready for that. But the notion that everything might be fine by Easter, I don't know where on earth that idea comes from. Certainly, does not apply to anything we're seeing here in New York City. And again, if that situation ever changes, I will be the first to tell you, I assure you. What we're seeing right now is huge challenges and intense stress in particular on our hospital capacity, on the men and women who do such amazing work in our healthcare system and clearly on the supplies and equipment that we need to make sure that we can keep moving forward.

We did get some good news in the last few days and that is very, very important to say. Supplies have come in from the federal government, from the state government and elsewhere that have certainly improved our situation this week. That'll help us get into next week. That is a Ray of light for sure. But we know we're going to have giant challenges ahead in terms of producing enough hospital space or enough personnel who are trained to help us in this crisis and that ongoing challenge with equipment and supplies. That's what we'll be dealing with for weeks and weeks ahead. The painful obligation I have every time I joined with you to tell you the overall numbers. And I will say every single time, these are human beings, these are families represented in these numbers. These are our neighbors. So, in New York City today, as of the official numbers from this morning, the last official count that we have, 17,856 cases, almost 18,000 at this point. Now at this point, we, our cases in New York city constitute about 54 percent – 54 percent of the total in the State of New York, and about 32 percent, almost a third of the cases in the United States of America. And very, very sadly now the death toll from coronavirus New York city has reached to almost 200.

What do we do? It's what we do every day. We work to make sure that we fight back and we stay ahead of this crisis and that, and we are winning that race against time for as many people as possible. And that starts with ventilators. This is going to be the single most valuable item, the single most valuable piece of equipment in this fight ahead. And we can say compared to last week, we've seen real progress. The 400 that came in yesterday from FEMA, the 2,000 we expect by the end of this week on top of that from the federal government, a big step in the right direction, but only one step more. We must receive and we must receive quickly. And that's what we're working on every single day. The goal for New York city is 15,000 ventilators. So, the numbers that we have from this week gets us about a sixth of the way there, and that is important, but we got a lot more to do and the sooner we get them, the better.

We still need the federal government to maximize the use of the defense production act. There's been some major steps forward in the last a day or two. FEMA has certainly been taking a more aggressive role in using the possibilities of defense production act, but nowhere near where we needed to go. And I’ve got to be clear that this is in everyone's interest everywhere in the United States of America. It's us today. It will be some other part of the country tomorrow. We need this production to be maximized for everyone's good. But on top of that, we have to be honest about the fact that even if the production occurs, the only way it will get to us in time on a sustained basis, is if the United States military gets involved much more deeply. I had a second round of conversations yesterday with the Defense Secretary and the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to constantly update them on what we are facing here, to thank them for the supplies, and the troops that we’re starting to get come in from the United States military to play a crucial role. There is some military presence now in New York City, and that's going to help us a lot. And that's going to give us everything from the extraordinary talent of our men and women in uniform, the supplies, the equipment, and also a real boost to all of our morale to see heroes from all over this country coming here to help New Yorkers, protect New Yorkers, and save New Yorkers.

That's a really positive sign, but we need to go to a much, much higher level and for the good of our nation we need the military to be directly involved in getting supplies all over this country on a really rapid basis, starting with those ventilators. Putting into play their extraordinary medical personnel on much higher level and bringing medical personnel, civilian medical personnel, from all over the country to serve here quickly. And then we will all together turn to support the next part of the country that deals with this challenge after our crisis is over. But I have to be clear, if the military is not mobilized on a higher level, I can't see a scenario where those supplies, that equipment, those personnel get where they need to go here in New York City in time. The only way we have a guarantee is with the active presence of the United States military.

Now, today in Washington, obviously there's been a real movement on the stimulus bill, although we are still waiting to confirm exactly what's going to be happening with it. We have seen a lot of detail come out today. And I have to say that I will talk in a moment about some of the things in the bill that are absolutely crucial for New York City and for the people of New York City and some of the things that went right. But I’ve got to first honestly talk about the thing that didn't go right and what has to be done to fix it. And that has to be addressed really quickly. Look, here's the truth. It was the majority leader of the U S Senate, Mitch McConnell, who stood in the way of real aid to New York City and New York state. That is just a fact. We know from all the negotiations that played out in recent days that all the other parties were willing to do more to support direct aid to New York City, direct aid to New York state, to keep our governments functioning at their current level.

Look, we are every single day doing more and more to address COVID-19. We are doing more and more to help people in need and the need keeps expanding all the time. At the same time, of course, our economy has ended up in a very difficult situation and our resources are plummeting. Our revenues plummeting. The, the money that we use to help people is drying up. So, what the most obvious thing in the world would've been to say, okay, we know, everyone in the country knows New York City is the epicenter of this crisis. Therefore, the state government, the city government in New York need all the help they can get to keep helping everyday people and to keep afloat everything else that we do. We need every other service of government to work, police and fire, and water, and sanitation, all the things we do. And that gets harder and harder if you have less and less money. So, it should have been one of the easiest no-brainers in the world for the U.S. Senate to include real money for New York City and New York state, in this stimulus bill, and yet it didn't happen. And we know why, because Mitch McConnell wouldn't let it happen.  I don’t understand how anybody, any public servant could live with themselves if they deprived the cities in the middle of the biggest crisis since the Great Depression, deprived us, deprived our state, of the money we need, giving New York City $1 billion out of $150 billion pool that they provide for the entire Country. But we are one-third of the cases in this country right now, someone do the math down there in Washington, in the Senate, Republican majority, someone do the math. They gave us less than 1 percent of the money that they were giving out to cities and states, and we have a third of the cases in the Nation – that is just immoral.

I'm going to call President Trump. I've spoken to President Trump several times about the stimulus bill, about what it means to New York City. I'm going to call President Trump and appeal to him – to intervene or to either fix this bill as it is or to guarantee that there will be another stimulus bill in the coming weeks that will address this problem immediately. I reached out today to Senator Schumer, I reached out to Speaker Pelosi, spoke with both of them and I want to thank them because we all know they were the lead negotiators in achieving all the good in this legislation. The direct money that will be provided to families in need to working people who have lost their jobs, those extended employment benefits, the grants to small businesses. Senator Schumer, Speaker Pelosi made a priority of helping the American people and helping the people in New York City who are suffering and only because of their presence do those items end up in the legislation. I say thank you to them, but I know where the roadblock is on the money, we need to keep this City and the State going. I know it's Mitch McConnell and I'm going to appeal to President Trump who's from this city, who understands very personally just what's at stake here. I'm going to appeal to him to step in and fix this situation on behalf of all Americans and to make sure that all New Yorkers are safe.

I'm going to give you some quick updates on some other issues. We have in our regional enrichment centers for the Department of Education, we are providing – education and childcare for the children of our essential workers. And we've said from the beginning that we include those who work in Healthcare, our first responders, transit workers— starting this Friday, we're going to add to that list— workers in a number of other categories and this is something that can be added to at any point. We'll make adjustments to the regional enrichment centers on a regular basis as we experience everything happening in this crisis, and we determined the best way to proceed. So, starting on Friday, the children of grocery workers and pharmacy workers, the essential staff at groceries and pharmacies, their children will also qualify for regional enrichment centers. There are staff members at our Department of Health who were not previously covered they will now be covered. Essential staff from Staten Island Ferry and NYC Ferry will join other transit workers in having the ability to bring their children to those regional enrichment centers. Department of Environmental Protection essential staff, the people who made sure we get water, the people who make sure the sewer systems working among other things their children as well, and essential staff from Department of Probation. So that's an update and all of that will be activated for Friday.

I want also to talk to you about the activities out in our communities to make sure social distancing is being enforced, I want to thank New Yorkers. Overwhelming, I've talked to Police Commissioner constantly gotten statistics from numerous agencies I've gotten counts on how many inspections are done. What came from a number of encounters, thousands and thousands of encounters with every-day New Yorkers, meeting our enforcement agents, and the results are the same every single time.  Overwhelmingly, New Yorkers are paying attention to social distancing rules they understand how serious it is, they understand it's about their health and their family's health and our whole City. So, overwhelmingly, we are seeing New Yorkers follow the rules. We do have some issues though, and we're going to be very open and honest about those issues when we have them. And that specific problem we've seen is in some parks, not all, some parks when it comes to basketball courts and every one of us who loves basketball and I'm one of them loves to go out and court and play a pickup game – or play with your family on the court. I want to differentiate in fact what's acceptable and what's not on a basketball court in the age of coronavirus. If you're a kid or adult who just wants to shoot hoops yourself, single, solitary, you can do that. Make sure you're socially distanced from the people around you. If you're a family that people live under the same roof and you want to play with each other on the basketball court, that's fine. But what's not fine anymore is any kind of basketball game between people who do not live under the same roof, because, let's face it, it's a contact sport, people are going to get close together, it creates a danger. It does not mean social distancing, so here's what we're going to do. I've heard back from the Parks Department and the NYPD that they have found 80 locations – 80 courts around the city out of about 1,700 that, after repeated attempts to make sure everyone there understood what social distancing was, they did not get the response they wanted. And so, in those 80 locations, we're going to remove the basketball hoops and make it impossible, sadly, for people to play basketball there. That's what we have to do right now at those 80 locations. The courts will still be there for folks who want to do any other kind of recreation and we'll be enforcing that. But there will not be any basketball games because there will not be any basketball hoops. And as I said, there's about 1,700 locations total so that means about 1,600 more courts that we can leave intact, if people follow the rules. People don't follow the rules, we'll take the hoops down there. And if we have to end up closing off basketball courts across the board, we'll do it, if we have to. I don't want to do it. I want to see if we can get it right. I want to give people maximum options, but you’d got to follow the rules to matter of everyone's safety.

I also want to give you an update this'll be a daily reality until we get to the point that we believe all this work has been done in terms of our jail population. A lot of work is going on right now to ensure that any inmates who should be brought out of our jail system because of health issues or concerns will be any inmates who can be directly acted on by the City of New York and not pose a specific serious threat to community. But we want to make sure that those who can be released are, there will be some, as I said yesterday who will not be released because they do pose a threat or because for example, they've committed an offense related to domestic violence or sexual offenses and we're going to have to work with other agencies, district attorneys and the State to determine what would happen with a number of other inmates.

But as for the total today, by tonight 200 inmates will have been released, there will be more releases tomorrow— and we will give you that update as it occurs. By way of closing, I’ll say a special thank you to folks who have been out there educating their fellow New Yorkers working with them. I gave you the example of one of the few things we've had a problem with those very specific basketball courts, but as you saw, that's not many out of the grand total in this City. But overwhelmingly what I've heard back from the Parks Department and NYPD is again, that cooperation from New Yorkers. I want to thank all of our park’s workers and a special thank you to our park's enforcement patrol workers for all you do every day, but especially during this crisis. Thank you for educating people about social distancing. Thank you for enforcing a special thank you to all of the men and women at the NYPD who have become really experts in describing social distancing and enforcing it over the last few days and they've been doing a fantastic job. So, thank you to all the men and women at the NYPD, and to all the six other agencies that are out there doing this work. This, again, is how we keep our parks and playgrounds going. And thank you, it's making a big, big difference.

And look, I will conclude before I say a few words in Spanish and then we'll open up to questions. I'll conclude by saying just a point to everyone about this new reality we are living in – it is very easy to feel alone in a situation like this. But you really – even if you feel it, even if you feel the confusion and the uncertainty, I guarantee you you're not alone. First of all, there are millions of us all feeling a lot of the same things. Second of all, there are literally hundreds of thousands of good people working every single day to protect you. Whether it's our first responders, our health care workers, our transit workers, and all those other essential workers, folks at the grocery stores and the pharmacies I mentioned earlier – so many people who are making it their business to get out there and help you live your life and protect you and your family. So, you may feel alone sometimes, but I guarantee you you're not. There are a lot of heroes out there who are going to help us save lives, and that's what we do here in New York City, that's a New York City tradition. Even in the toughest times, New Yorkers step up – in fact, a lot of people would say it's in crisis, in a moment like this. And New Yorkers are not at their very best and no one wishes for a time like this, but we've seen time and time again just how good New Yorkers can be even when our backs are against the wall. So, I just want to reassure everyone, you are definitely not alone and we will all get through this together.