NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Thursday that New York City may need to lay off first responders if a bailout does not come from Washington, D.C.
During his daily coronavirus press briefing, the mayor said that the city is losing money every day that the shutdown continues and if the federal government doesn’t help, the city will need to begin taking cost cutting measures.
“If it doesn't happen, then we are missing $7.4 billion in revenue, then all options are on the table,” de Blasio said.
Police and fire unions, however, did not take the threat well.
Uniformed Firefighters Association President Gerard Fitzgerald said it was a slap in the face to hear the mayor say he would be willing to fire first responders who have been essential to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our firefighters should not have to respond to respond to emergencies, fight fires and fight the fight and the epicenter of this global pandemic and weight unemployment at the same time,” Fitzgerald said.
As different sectors of the city's economy gear up for re-opening, the mayor says City Hall has their back.
A total of 10 task forces covering multi-facets of the economy and varies neighborhoods will advise businesses when to reopen and how to keep their employees and customers safe.
Meanwhile, the city has begun to offer 140,000 COVID-19 antibody tests to everyday New Yorkers.
The mayor said the first round will start next week with 70,000 New Yorkers. Tests will be done by appointment only using a hotline that will launch Friday, de Blasio said.