NEW YORK - If the federal government does not come to the rescue with financial assistance, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says that the city may be forced to lay off city employees like police officers, firefighters, and healthcare workers.
“They found $58B effortlessly for the airline industry, why are they not helping America’s cities and states get back on their feet,” de Blasio asked.
The mayor’s announcement ignited a firestorm of criticism from various unions in the city, representing various groups of city employees.
“First responders are not political pawns, firefighters are not political pawns, we are the people who protect this city,” said Gerald Fitzgerald of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.
“Our entire social fabric is under tremendous strain and police officers are already stretched thin trying to maintain order,” said PBA President Patrick Lynch. “If we cut cops, there will be chaos instead of recovery.”
Critics of De Blasio said that he cannot get the city the money it so desperately needs by threatening to lay off first responders, but by having constructive talks with the President and Congress.
The mayor also cautioned that the city is a long way from being able to end restrictions intended to contain the virus, and he said the rest of the country should not reopen too quickly either.
“Thank God things are getting better in New York City but we still have a long way to go,” de Blasio said.