Krueger to Host Townhall on State of the Pandemic
State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Upper East Side, Lenox Hill) will be hosting a virtual townhall this Monday on the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Krueger will be joined by Dr. Demetre Daskalakis of the NYC Department of Health, and Test and Trace Corps Executive Director Ted Long. The discussion will focus on the current rate of spread and what we can do to mitigate community transmission.
The event will take place on Monday, Nov. 23 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at facebook.com/statesenatorlizkrueger.
Johnson Reprimands City for Public School Closure
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) released a statement on Wednesday after Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced the immediate closure of public schools.
De Blasio made the announcement on Twitter, and reiterated it during a late afternoon press conference. According to the Mayor, the decision came after the City’s seven-day positive test rate average crossed the 3 percent threshold. However, Johnson protested the measure, insisting that the City still isn’t ready to shift to a fully remote learning model.
“This is a devastating moment for New York City,” said Johnson. “Through the Council’s oversight, we know that remote learning is failing many of our most vulnerable students, including special education students, those who live in homeless shelters, and those from low-income neighborhoods. We also know that many students do not have the devices they need for remote learning, while others are waiting on Wi-Fi. This was unacceptable in the hybrid learning model and catastrophic now that we are going fully remote. The City needs a detailed plan to keep all students’ learning on track. This should have been done already, but since it hasn’t, they must move quickly to put a plan in place.
“The de Blasio Administration also needs to present the public with a reopening plan. This has been a disaster for parents and caregivers. The least the Administration can do is to be honest about what to expect going forward.”
Gillibrand Pushes for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Care Services in Next Relief Package
Last Wednesday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) urged Senate leaders to include funding for mental health care services and substance abuse disorder treatment in the next COVID-19 relief package.
As Gillibrand explained, the coronavirus itself isn’t the only health crisis we have on our hands. Due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, millions of Americans are contending with social isolation, grief, unemployment and general uncertainty; some have resorted to hard drug use to cope with their pain. Because of this, we need robust funding for psychological care and addiction treatment now more than ever.
Earlier this year, Gillibrand introduced legislation to create a $25 million grant program to support families with loved ones seeking drug addiction treatment.
“For many families the emotional strains and stress of the holidays are compounded when a loved one suffers from mental health and substance use disorders. And, as the pandemic has exacerbated our country’s addiction crisis, individuals and their families are in even greater need of resources to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” said Gillibrand.
“Many mental health care and substance use disorder support services are faced with the heavy burden of helping Americans in need with limited resources. Shoring up these programs with robust funding, and the passage of my bipartisan Family Support Services for Addiction Act, would ensure that nonprofits and organizations supporting those recovering from substance use and their families can keep their doors open.”