New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) speaks at a press conference on COVID-19 and the closure of K-12 public schools in New York City.
Michael Brochstein | Barcroft Media | Getty Images
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that early estimates of unemployment data show that at least half a million New Yorkers have or will lose their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced state and local officials to shut down businesses and schools across the state .
“Right now, our early estimate is, at least half a million New Yorkers will be unemployed, already or soon will be,” he said.
Americans filed over 3 million unemployment claims last week as the coronavirus pandemic shifts workers in record numbers.
The Senate unanimously approved a $ 2 trillion relief package late Wednesday night, but de Blasio said the amount is not enough to help New York, the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States. Cases across the state have doubled every three days and now account for more than half of all US cases.
The Senate proposal aims to help small businesses and improve unemployment insurance. The bill provides $ 5 billion to New York, which will not come close to covering the state’s estimated revenue shortfall, Prime Minister Andrew Cuomo said earlier Thursday. The state has already spent at least $ 1 billion to respond to the outbreak so far.
“If the federal government does everything they are capable of, it will help us get through, and we can help everyone to the point where we actually begin a recovery, which I think is something that is hard to believe before the summer or fall but we get to that point, “de Blasio said.
Cuomo criticized the relief packaged as “irresponsible” and “reckless” because it does not provide nearly enough cash to cover the state’s huge loss of tax revenue.
Coronavirus has infected more than 21,800 people in the city and killed at least 281, de Blasio said. The city has 20,000 hospital beds but will need three times as much in May, he said.