New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday said that it might take weeks for the city to reopen fully, as lack of widespread testing for the coronavirus continues to cripple the healthcare system. Blasio's comments comes a couple of days after he announced the cancellations of all events including concerts and festivals through May and perhaps June, as the situation continues to deteriorate.
New York, the world's most populous city, is the hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected over 138,700 people, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. New York also accounts for more than half of the fatalities in the United States.
New York City Mayor warns
Blasio said that lack of widespread testing could lead to weeks if not months for New York City to reopen. He said that the city still needs hundreds of thousands of tests daily and hospitalizations to declines before considering opening the economy. Blasio has been continuously calling on President Donald Trump to direct desperately-needed federal funding to US cities.
On Monday, Blasio once again urged Trump to immediately take action and direct federal fund to help New York City. "The absence of testing from day one never allowed us to fight this war the right way," de Blasio said Monday on MSNBC's Morning Joe. Trump has been claiming that the United States is having more tests for Covid-19 than most of the counties. However, Blasio and several governors over the weekend disputed Trump's claims.
New York City continues to suffer
The entire United States has been struggling to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The country has so far reported more than 750,000 cases of coronavirus and over 40,500 deaths. New York accounts for almost 50% of the total deaths registered in the United States.
Funding has been a major crisis for all states including New York City. Last week, Blasio said that New York City would have to slash more than $2 billion in municipal services over the next year. On Friday, he announced cancellation of all festivals, concerts and nonessential events in the city.
Blasio has been continuously saying that had there been adequate testing from the beginning. On Monday, he said that had there been aggressive testing measures from the beginning in New York then, "we could have done a very intensive containment strategy".
Trump has been hinting at opening the economy and also issued guidelines. The guidelines to reopen the economy recommend a state record of 14 days of declining cases of coronavirus. However, New York seems nowhere close to reopening economy.