Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told Democracy Now she blames the deaths of New Yorkers and those who are in the city illegally on President Trump and his administration's response to the ongoing pandemic of the Wuhan coronavirus.
New York City has been hit especially hard during the crisis. As of Tuesday, there are 72,181 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with over 3,485 deaths.
"Well, overall, you know not just President Trump but this entire administration knew what was coming. Trump knew this pandemic was coming. The military knew this pandemic was coming. The CDC knew this pandemic was coming. HHS, Health and Human Services, knew this this pandemic was coming. And there was a structural, but also universal refusal to acknowledge, and more importantly to act," Ocasio-Cortez said.
"In New York City city alone we are seeing 200 to 300 people dying in their homes a day. Per day in New York City, inside their homes. In addition to the hospitalizations, these numbers that you’re seeing, all in all, many of them are confirmed coronavirus cases. As you mentioned, many people do not have access to tests, so a lot of these deaths that you are seeing, there are many more that are uncounted, that are being counted as pneumonia or being counted as other causes of death because those people were not able to get a COVID-19 test. And so these additional deaths, many of them are unnecessary. They are deaths of incompetence. They are deaths of science denial. They are deaths of inequality," she continued.
Ocasio-Cortez added the deaths that are being caused by "the incompetence of this administration" has a "particular cruelty to undocumented immigrants. It is also a form of denial of the fact that many of these undocumented people pay taxes, they fund our public schools, and they find the very public health system that they are being denied access to right now through the billions of dollars of taxes that they pay. Billions more — by the way, these undocumented workers pay billions more in taxes than Facebook does, than Amazon does, and then many other corporations do. And so when it comes to contributions to our public systems, they do far more than these — than these corporations do."
New York City officials, from Mayor Bill de Blasio to the city's health commissioner, encouraged city residents to carry on with their daily lives despite concerns of the virus starting to take root in the city.
NYC “Health Commissioner” Oxiris Barbot on Feb. 7th: “We’re telling New Yorkers, go about your lives, take the subway, go out, enjoy life” pic.twitter.com/28mhwdBCK4— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 27, 2020
Since I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives + get out on the town despite Coronavirus, I thought I would offer some suggestions. Here’s the first: thru Thurs 3/5 go see “The Traitor” @FilmLinc. If “The Wire” was a true story + set in Italy, it would be this film.— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) March 3, 2020
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