METROFOCUS: MARCH 17, 2020

March 17, 2020 at 7:30 pm

As Mayor Bill de Blasio warns New Yorkers to prepare to shelter-in-place, we get City Council Member Stephen Levin’s take on a potential city-wide shutdown, how city schools are handling the pandemic, and his biggest concerns about hospital preparedness.

Aired on March 17, 2020.

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>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH
RAFAEL P. RAMON, JACK FORD AND
JENNA FLANAGAN.
"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY
JAMES AND MERRILL TISCH.
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.
THE SUSAN A. AND SIMON B. POYTA.
ROSALIND P. WALTER.
BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.
AND BY --
>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH THE
LATEST NEWS ON THE CORONAVIRUS
PANDEMIC AFFECTING THE
TRI-STATE.
>> NEW YORK CITY IS UNDER TOTAL
LOCKDOWN.
AS THE ENTIRE REGION ATTEMPTS TO
PREPARE FOR AN EXPONENTIAL RISE
IN CASES OF COVID-19, SCHOOLS
HAVE BEEN CLOSED AS WELL AS
BARS, RESTAURANTS, JIM, AND
PRETTY MUCH ANYWHERE PEOPLE
WOULD CONGREGATE.
ALL IN AN ATTEMPT TO HALT THE
SPREAD OF THE VIRUS.
BUT THERE ARE EARLY WARNING
SIGNS THAT ALL OF THESE CLOSINGS
COULD BE HAVING SEVERE AND DIRE
ECONOMIC REPERCUSSIONS FOR NOT
ONLY NEW YORK CITY, BUT THE
ENTIRE METROPOLITAN REGION.
NEW YORK CITY CONTROLLER SCOTT
STRINGER HAS SOUNDED THE ALARM
THE CITY COULD BE FACING A,
QUOTE, PROLONGED RECESSION.
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR NEW
YORK CITY?
JOIN BEING ME NOW TO TALK ABOUT
IT, OF COURSE, IS NEW YORK CITY
COUNCIL MAN STEVEN LEVIN.
LEVIN WAS AN EARLY PROPONENT OF
CLOSING THE BARS AND RESTAURANTS
AS SOON AS THE OUTBREAK BEGAN
AND HE'S BEEN EXPRESSING DIRE
CONCERNS ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT
NEW YORK CITY HAS ENOUGH
HOSPITAL BEDS TO TREAT THE SICK.
>>> SO, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM,
COUNCIL MAN LEVIN.
>> THANK YOU, JENNA.
THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU.
I WANT TO START OFF, OF COURSE,
WITH THIS NEW NEWS WE MIGHT BE
FACING A LOCKDOWN SIMILAR TO
WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN SAN
FRANCISCO.
IS THAT WHAT SOME PEOPLE MIGHT
BE SAYING IS TOO MUCH OF AN OVER
REACTION OR IS THAT WHERE WE
NEED TO BE OR PERHAPS SHOULD
HAVE BEEN?
>> I THINK IT WOULD BE
IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERREACT AT THIS
POINT HONESTLY.
WHAT WE'VE BEEN SEEING -- AND I
THINK -- I WANT EVERYBODY TO
KIND OF UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS
THAT WE'RE FACING WITH THE
CORONAVIRUS.
SO, THE CORONAVIRUS, AS MOST
PEOPLE NAME, CAME -- STARTED OUT
OF WUHAN, CHINA, IN DECEMBER.
THE CASES ROSE RAPIDLY THERE AND
THEY TOOK A PRETTY SIGNIFICANT
EXTREME MEASURES IN CHINA TO GET
THEIR OUTBREAK UNDER CONTROL.
HOWEVER, BY THAT POINT, IT HAD
STARTED TO GO INTO OTHER
COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD.
IRAN, ITALY, AND NOW SPAIN,
FRANCE, AND UNITED STATES
OBVIOUSLY.
AND SO WHAT WE HAVE SEEN NOW
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD IS THAT
THERE ARE -- THIS IS A VIRUS
THAT IS AT THIS POINT IS PRETTY
PREDICTABLE.
IT HASN'T MUTATED BEYOND WHAT WE
KIND OF CURRENTLY HAVE SEEN IN
OTHER COUNTRIES, WHICH IS IN
SOME WAYS A GOOD GUIDELINE FOR
US FOR HOW WE SHOULD REACT
BECAUSE A VIRUS ACTS -- YOU
KNOW, A VIRUS, FOR FOLKS WHO
KNOW, IT'S A PIECE OF DNA OR RNA
ENCAPSULATED IN PROTEIN THAT
INFECTS THE CELL AND STARTS TO
REPLICATE.
IT TAKES OVER THE CELLS,
REPLICATES AND MOVES ON TO
ANOTHER HOST.
THAT'S THE TRAJECTORY OF A
VIRUS.
IT DOESN'T HAVE A BRAIN.
IT DOESN'T ACT OUTSIDE OF ITS
KIND OF GENETIC MANDATE, WHICH
IS TO INFECT AND REPLICATE,
INFECT AND REPLICATE OVER AND
OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
SO THAT, IN SOME WAYS, IT MAKES
IT A PREDICTABLE ENEMY.
UNLIKE, SAY, A NATURAL DISASTER
LIKE A HURRICANE WHERE
METEOROLOGISTS HAVE TO FACTOR IN
THE JET STREAMS AND THE HIGH
PRESSURE, SLOW PRESSURE, SO YOU
CAN PREDICT ONE DAY THAT A
HURRICANE IS GOING TO HIT NEW
ORLEANS AND THEN IT TURNS AROUND
AND HITS HOUSTON.
WITH A VIRUS IT'S ACTUALLY A LOT
MORE PREDICTABLE THAN THAT, SO
WE KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT HERE,
WHICH ACTUALLY SHOULD BE A CALL
TO ACTION FOR ALL OF OUR
GOVERNMENTS, INCLUDING NEW YORK
CITY AND NEW YORK STATE, THAT WE
NEED TO TAKE THE TYPE OF
MEASURES THAT WE'RE SEEING
AROUND THE WORLD, AND NOW IN THE
UNITED STATES, TO ADDRESS IT
BECAUSE -- ANOTHER IMPORTANT
THING TO KEEP IN MIND WITH A
VIRUS IS A VIRUS SPREADS IN AN
EXPONENTIAL WAY.
SO RIGHT NOW, AS YOU GO BACK TO
8th GRADE MATH, ALGEBRA.
>> OF COURSE.
>> THE EXPONENTIAL CURVE GOES
LIKE THAT.
IT GOES LIKE THAT.
SO, YOUR CURVE STARTS TO
ACCELERATE.
NOW, THE Y AXIS HERE IS YOUR
NUMBER OF CASES AND YOUR X AXIS
IS TIME.
AND SO AS WE CAN SEE, YOU KNOW,
THE NUMBER OF CASES STARTS TO
RAPIDLY INCREASE AND ACCELERATE
AS TIME GOES ON.
SO WHAT WE'VE SEEN IS THE
INTERVAL -- I'M JUST GOING TO
MAKE IT -- MY SIMPLE VERSION OF
IT -- ABOUT EVERY FOUR DAYS, THE
NUMBER OF INFECTED PEOPLE
DOUBLES IN ANY AREA.
THAT COULD BE WORLDWIDE -- THIS
IS WITHOUT ANY MAJOR
INTERVENTION.
>> OF COURSE.
>> SO LEFT TO ITS OWN DEVICES,
IT WOULD -- BASICALLY CASES
WOULD DOUBLE EVERY FOUR DAYS.
THAT'S ONE THING IF THE CASES
ARE DOUBLING FROM 10 TO 20 IN
FOUR DAYS OR FROM 100 TO 200 IN
FOUR DAYS.
THE FURTHER ALONG YOU GET IN
THAT EXPONENTIAL CURVE, THERE'S
A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 100 AND
200 AND 100,000 AND 200,000, AND
THEY'RE NOT ACTUALLY THAT FAR
APART IN TERMS OF TIME BECAUSE
OF HOW THE CURVE ACCELERATES.
SO THAT'S WHY WE'VE BEEN RINGING
THE ALARM BELLS BECAUSE IF YOU
DON'T STOP IT EARLY -- SO WE'VE
ALREADY MISSED A COUPLE OF MAJOR
INTERVENTION POINTS ALONG THE
WAY.
WE ALREADY -- THERE'S -- THE
FIRST INTERVENTION POINT IS
IDENTIFY CASES IMMEDIATELY
THROUGH TESTING, AND THEN DO A
THING WHAT THEY CALL CONTACT
TRACE, WHICH IS YOU FIND AN
INFECTED PERSON, GO TO ALL OF
THEIR CONTACTS, TEST THEM ALL,
AND THEN FIND OUT IF ANY OF THEM
HAVE THE VIRUS.
AND THEN IF ANY OF THEM HAVE THE
VE
VIRUS, YOU DO THE SAME THING TO
THEM.
WE MISSED THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO
THAT FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS.
FIRST AND FOREMOST, THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT REALLY BUNGLED THE
ROLL OUT OF TESTING.
EVEN LAST WEEK, THE FDA WAS
HOLDING UP APPROVALS FOR TESTING
AND THEN JUST TODAY THEY
ANNOUNCED OR LATE LAST NIGHT,
THAT THEY WERE GOING TO GIVE A
BLANKET APPROVAL FOR PRIVATE
TESTING COMPANIES.
WE WERE ASKING FOR THEM TO DO
THAT LAST WEEK WHEN WE HAD AT
LEAST A SEMBLANCE OF A CHANCE TO
TEST AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE REALLY
NEEDED TO.
>> OKAY.
SO DOES THAT MEAN, THOUGH, THE
NOTION OF -- AGAIN,
SHELTER-IN-PLACE, WHICH IT SEEMS
LIKE INCREDIBLY DRACONIAN,
ESPECIALLY TO NEW YORKERS,
SOMETHING WE SHOULD SEAR RIOUSLE
CONSIDERING OR IT SHOULD HAVE
HAPPENED IS WHAT YOU'RE SAYING?
>> IT SHOULD HAPPEN RIGHT NOW.
BECAUSE OF HOW FAR ALONG WE ARE
NOW, YOU KNOW, THERE'S PROBABLY
ABOUT, SAY, 10,000 NEW YORKERS
THAT ARE INFECTED RIGHT NOW
BECAUSE THERE'S ABOUT A THOUSAND
CASES THAT HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED,
AND THAT'S ABOUT 1/10 OF THE --
WITH THE MODELLING WE'RE
SHOWING, 1/10 OF INFECTED CASES.
THAT NUMBER 10,000 COULD DOUBLE
IN FOUR DAYS.
20,000, DOUBLE IN FOUR DAYS
AFTER THAT.
IN A LITTLE OVER A WEEK THERE
WILL BE 40,000.
AND IN TWO WEEKS YOU'RE LOOKING
AT 80, 160.
SO 160,000 CASES IN TWO WEEKS IS
WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT IN NEW
YORK CITY IF WE DON'T TAKE SOME
SIGNIFICANT MEASURES.
ONE THING I THINK -- I SAW
OVERNIGHT THAT I THOUGHT WAS A
VERY CONCERNING PIECE OF DATA
THAT CAME OUT OF THE WEBSITE,
THE CITY, WHICH IS A NOT FOR
PROFIT JOURNALISM IN NEW YORK
CITY.
>> OF COURSE, THEY DO WORK WITH
THE CITY.
>> THEY SHOWED A MAP THAT SHOWED
TURN STYLE SWIPES IN NEW YORK
CITY ON THE SUBWAYS KIND OF IN A
MAP FORMAT SO THAT YOU CAN SEE
BETWEEN MARCH 6 AND MARCH 13 THE
DECREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TURN
STYLE SWIPES.
UNSURPRISINGLY, YOU SAW IN SOME
NEIGHBORHOODS THE UPPER EAST
SIDE, THE UPPER WEST SIDE, ALONG
THE L LINE IN BROOKLYN, BROOKLYN
HEIGHTS, PARK SLOPE, IN
NEIGHBORHOODS YOU SAW A DRASTIC
DECREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TURN
STYLE SWIPES.
60% TURN MORE.
WHAT YOU SAW, THOUGH, IN
COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE OUTER
BOROUGHS, COMMUNITIES OF COLOR
WHERE PEOPLE HAVE TO GO TO WORK
AND HAVE LESS OF AN OPTION TO
WORK FROM HOME, IN THE BRONX THE
DECREASE WAS LIKE 13%.
IF
>> THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY
IMPORTANT POINT IN ALL OF THIS,
AND THAT IS HOW DO WE HELP
PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY NEED OR WHO
HAVE BEEN RELYING ON SYSTEMS.
NOT JUST WORKING PARENTS WHO
HAVE CHILDREN WHO ARE IN THE
SCHOOLS WHO ARE NOW HOME, BUT
ALSO -- I ALSO UNDERSTAND A LOT
OF THE CITY'S NONPROFITS ARE
TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW THEY'RE
ABLE TO CONTINUE IF THEY CAN'T
MEET THEIR CITY REQUIRED QUOTAS.
DOES ALL OF THIS, IN ADDITION TO
THE EMERGENCY OF
SHELTER-IN-PLACE AND PEOPLE
UNDERSTANDING THAT THEY NEED TO
SOCIAL DISTANCE OR SIMPLY STAY
AT HOME, DOES THE NEED TO BE AN
EQUAL URGENCY ON THE PART OF
GOVERNMENT TO MAKE SURE THAT
THERE IS SOME SORT OF FINANCIAL
SAFETY NET SO THAT WE DON'T LOSE
ALL OF THESE INSTITUTIONS THAT
WE'VE COME TO RELY ON?
>> SO, YES -- THE ANSWER IS YES.
BUT THAT HAS TO BE A LONG-TERM
QUESTION, AND IT REALLY HAS TO
BE A QUESTION FOR ANOTHER DAY.
IT CAN'T BE TODAY'S QUESTION
BECAUSE TODAY'S QUESTION HAS TO
BE WHAT WE CAN DO TO KEEP THIS
PANDEMIC FROM INFECTING -- YOU
KNOW, IF WE LEFT IT GO
UNCHECKED -- AND AS YOU CAN SEE
FROM THAT DATA, 13% DECREASE IN
SWIPES -- THIS DIDN'T ACCOUNT
FOR YESTERDAY OR TODAY, SO WE
DON'T KNOW.
THIS WAS LIKE FRIDAY.
BUT 13% DECREASE IN SWIPES IS
NOT GOING TO MAKE A DENT IN THE
SPREAD OF THIS VIRUS.
THAT'S JUST STATISTICALLY WILL
NOT MAKE A DENT.
AND WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT -- I
WANT PEOPLE TO REALLY UNDERSTAND
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT HERE.
WE ARE LOOKING AT IF LEFT ON ITS
OWN TRAJECTORY, ON THE
EXPONENTIAL CURVE, BY SOMETIME
IN MAY THERE WILL BE A MILLION
NEW YORKERS OR MORE, 2 MILLION
NEW YORKERS MAYBE BY JUNE, THAT
ARE INFECTED WITH THE
CORONAVIRUS.
2 MILLION IF WE LEFT -- IF WE
DON'T DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW
TODAY AND ESSENTIALLY --
>> JUST SO PEOPLE UNDERSTAND, I
WANT YOU TO GIVE US A RATIO OF 2
MILLION INFECTED NEW YORKERS
VERSUS HOW MANY HOSPITAL BEDS
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT JUST SO THAT
PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND WHY THAT'S
A PROBLEMATIC NUMBER.
>> SURE.
WHAT THE DATA HAS SHOWN FROM
STUDIES AROUND THE WORLD IN THE
LANCET AND NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL
OF MEDICINE, TRY TO GET A HANDLE
ON WHAT THE SEVERE AND CRITICAL
CASE RATIO IS OF CORONAVIRUS.
IT'S PRETTY CONSISTENT THAT IT'S
BETWEEN 10% AND 14%.
LET'S THINK ABOUT WHAT 2 MILLION
INFECTED NEW YORKERS LOOKS LIKE.
200,000 TO 280,000 NEW YORKERS
THAT ARE IN CRITICAL AND SEVERE
NEED OF A HOSPITAL BED.
WE HAVE 25,000 HOSPITAL BEDS IN
NEW YORK CITY.
NORMALLY WE'RE ABOUT 80 TO 90%
FULL.
SO WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IN THE
SPAN OF A COUPLE OF MONTHS A
TRAJECTORY THAT SHOWS US BEING
OVER CAPACITY IN OUR HOSPITAL
SYSTEM BY A FACTOR OF TEN.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
WHEN PEOPLE GO -- WHEN PEOPLE
BECOME SEVERE WITH CORONAVIRUS,
WITH COVID-19, THEY GO INTO
ACUTE RESPIRATORY DISTRESS.
WHAT IT IS, IT'S BASICALLY YOUR
IMMUNE SYSTEM TRYING TO ATTACK
THIS VIRUS.
THE VIRUS ATTACKS YOUR LUNGS, BY
THE WAY, IT GETS INTO YOUR
LUNGS.
THAT'S WHERE ITS MAIN RECEPTORS
ARE.
YOU MIGHT HAVE THE SNIFFLES.
THOSE ARE MINOR SYMPTOMS.
THE MAJOR SYMPTOMS ARE DRY
COUGH, SHORTNESS OF BREATH AND
FEVER.
THAT'S BECAUSE THE INFECTION IS
IN THE LUNGS FOR THE MOST PART.
AND SO AS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
STARTS TO ATTACK THE VIRUS IN
YOUR LUNGS, YOUR LUNGS BECOME --
GO INTO THIS ACUTE RESPIRATORY
SYNDROME WHICH IS BASICALLY YOUR
LUNGS START TO LOSE THEIR
ELASTICITY.
THEY LOSE THEIR ABILITY TO
CONVERT OXYGEN IN THE AIR INTO
OXYGEN IN YOUR BLOOD, AND YOU
BASICALLY, FRANKLY, PEOPLE WILL
DROWN IN OPEN AIR FROM THIS
DISEASE, AND THAT IS -- WHEN WE
SEE A FATALITY RATE OF 3% OR 4%,
THAT'S WHAT -- THAT'S THE KIND
OF AVERAGE AROUND THE WORLD
RIGHT NOW.
YOU KNOW, IN ITALY IT WAS 6%.
PEOPLE ARE DYING OF -- THEY'RE
BASICALLY, THEY'RE BASICALLY
GASPING FOR AIR.
THEY'RE RUNNING OUT OF AIR.
THEY ARE DYING OF ACUTE
RESPIRATORY DISEASE, DISTRESS,
WHICH IS BASICALLY THEY'RE
DROWNING IN OPEN AIR.
IF WE ARE LOOKING AT A TENFOLD
CAPACITY IN OUR HOSPITAL SYSTEM
BY -- WHETHER IT'S JUNE 15th OR
JUNE 28th, IT KIND OF DOESN'T
MATTER.
WE HAVE TO, WE HAVE TO DO
EVERYTHING WE CAN RIGHT NOW TO
DO IT.
AND SO THAT'S WHY I SAY IT'S A
QUESTION FOR ANOTHER DAY.
THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THIS IS
BASICALLY UNFATHOMABLE AND WE --
THERE IS GOING TO BE SUCH AN
IMMENSE AMOUNT OF ECONOMIC PAIN
ALL AROUND THIS COUNTRY.
BUT RIGHT NOW IN NEW YORK CITY
WE ARE PROBABLY IN WORSE SHAPE
THAN ANY OTHER CITY IN THE
COUNTRY.
I JUST WANT TO MAKE PEOPLE
REALLY CLEAR ABOUT THIS.
RIGHT NOW WE ARE IN WORSE SHAPE
THAN ANY OTHER CITY IN THE
COUNTRY.
THE REASON BEING THAT WE HAVE A
HIGHER NUMBER OF CASES, WE'RE
FURTHER ALONG IN THAT
EXPONENTIAL TRAJECTORY THAN MOST
OTHER CITIES.
WE ARE DOING LESS THAN MOST
OTHER CITIES ARE TO COMBAT THIS.
WE ARE SO FAR BEHIND THE CURVE.
BY THAT CURVE, IT IS EVERY
SINGLE DAY MATTERS.
FRANKLY, IF WE SPEND THREE DAYS
DECIDING WHETHER TO CANCEL THE
SAINT PATRICK'S DAY PARADE,
ANOTHER THREE DAYS TRYING TO
DECIDE TO CANCEL SCHOOL, THOSE
ARE IMPORTANT DAYS WE MISSED --
REALLY IMPORTANT DAYS WE MISSED.
>> I DO WANT TO ASK YOU, THOUGH,
DO YOU THINK THIS MEANS IT'S A
GOOD IDEA -- THERE'S BEEN TALK
OF MOBILIZING -- I THINK THE
MAYOR REFERENCED THIS --
MOBILIZING THE ARMY RESERVES AND
THE ARMED FORCES TO START
SETTING UP SOME SORT OF TENTS OR
CAMPS TO BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH
PEOPLE TO PUT THEM IN ISOLATION
SO THAT THEY HAVE A PLACE WHERE
THEY CAN RECOVER?
>> WE THOUGHT ABOUT -- WE CAME
UP WITH -- YESTERDAY WE SHOULD
BE BRINGING ONLINE SOMETHING
LIKE MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, THE
JAVITZ CENTER, BARCLAY CENTER,
SO PEOPLE THAT ARE INFECTED THAT
HAVE MILD SYMPTOMS ARE ABLE TO
GO SO THAT THEY'RE NOT OUT THERE
IN THE GENERAL PUBLIC CONTINUING
TO INFECT PEOPLE, BUT THEY'RE
ALSO NOT IN THE HOSPITALS
JAMMING UP THE HOSPITAL SYSTEM.
ANOTHER THING TO KIND OF KEEP IN
MIND IS ONCE THE HOSPITALS GET
OVERLOADED AND THEY'RE AT
CAPACITY AND CONTINUE TO GET
FLOODED AND GET FLOODED EVEN
WORSE AND WORSE IN AN
ACCELERATING PACE, EVERY SINGLE
FLAW IN OUR HOSPITAL SYSTEM, IN
OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM WILL ALL
BE EXPOSED AT ONCE.
SO THINGS WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT
RIGHT NOW ARE GOING TO THEN BE
FORCED OUT INTO THE OPEN.
SO IT'S NOT -- IT'S KIND OF A --
THE IMPACT OF THIS KIND OF
RIPPLES OUT FURTHER AND FURTHER.
SO IF ALL 25,000 BEDS -- THEY
SAID THEY'RE GOING TO BRING ON
ANOTHER 8,000 BEDS.
SO LET'S SAY ALL 37 -- I'M
SORRY, LET ME GO BACK.
33,000 BEDS -- 8,000 AND 25,000
ARE 33,000 TAKEN UP BY COVID-19
PATIENTS, EVERY OTHER PATIENT IN
NEW YORK CITY WHICH NORMALLY
TAKE UP 80% OF THAT 25,000
CAPACITY, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO
BE ABLE TO GET THE CARE THEY
NEED.
SO SOMEONE HAS A HEART ATTACK,
WHERE ARE THEY GOING TO GO?
SOMEBODY HAS A STROKE, WHERE ARE
THEY GOING TO GO?
SOMEBODY THAT IS HAVING AN
ASTHMA ATTACK, WHERE ARE THEY
GOING TO GO WHEN ALL OF THE
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS ENTIRELY
OVERRUN BY COVID-19 CASES?
THIS IS -- AGAIN, I GO BACK TO
MY FIRST POINT.
THIS IS A RATIONAL AGENT.
A VIRUS BEHAVES EXACTLY -- THE
VIRUS IS GOING TO BEHAVE HERE
EXACTLY HOW IT BEHAVED IN CHINA,
EXACTLY HOW IT'S BEHAVING IN
IRAN, EXACTLY HOW IT'S BEHAVING
IN ITALY, EXACTLY HOW IT'S
BEHAVING IN SPAIN.
THERE'S NO REASON IN THE
WORLD -- IT WOULD BE FOOLISH, IT
WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY RECKLESS AND
FOOLISH TO BELIEVE THAT SOMEHOW
WE HAVE SOME DIFFERENT IMMUNITY
TO THIS DISEASE THAN THE REST OF
HUMANITY.
IT'S JUST NOT TRUE.
AND SO WE CAN LOOK TO SEE WHAT
THEY DID, BUT WE ARE ALREADY
BEHIND THE CURVE HERE.
IN WUHAN, THEY HAD ALREADY BEEN
IMPLEMENTING THOSE MEASURES
WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW IN THE
CURVE.
IN ITALY THEY HAD ALREADY BEEN
IMPLEMENTING THOSE MEASURES
WHERE WE ARE IN THE CURVE RIGHT
NOW.
I WAS LISTENING TO BRIAN LEHRER.
IN BARCELONA THEY HAVE A FULL
LOCKDOWN RIGHT NOW.
IT HAS FULL UNANIMOUS SUPPORT
FROM THE PEOPLE OF SPAIN.
IT HAS ALMOST FULL UNANIMOUS
SUPPORT FROM THE PEOPLE OF SPAIN
BECAUSE THEY KNOW HOW SERIOUS
THIS IS.
IT'S BEEN EXPLAINED TO THEM BY
THE GOVERNMENT IN VERY CLEAR
TERMS SO PEOPLE CAN GET, AND
IT'S SEEN AS A KIND OF CIVIC
DUTY.
THAT WAS ALSO THE CASE IN CHINA.
THERE WAS A LARGE FEELING THAT
THIS WAS A CIVIC DUTY.
WE NEED TO TAP INTO THAT FEELING
OF NEW YORKERS, WE KNOW HOW TO
DEAL WITH CRISIS.
WE DEALT WITH SANDY AND WE DEALT
WITH 9/11.
THIS IS A CRISIS ON THAT SCALE
IN REAL TIME AS WE SPEAK.
WHAT PEOPLE NEED TO DO -- I'M
NOT SAYING DON'T GO FOR A WALK.
YOU CAN GO FOR A WALK.
YOU NEED TO WALK YOUR DOG, GO
WALK YOUR DOG.
THE VIRUS DOESN'T JUST FLOAT
AROUND IN THE OUTDOOR AIR.
IT HAS -- IT'S A DROPLET THAT
HAS TO SOMEHOW GET ONTO A MUCUS
MEMBRANE.
THAT'S WHY IT'S ON SURFACES.
YOU TOUCH YOUR SURFACE, TOUCH
YOUR EYE, YOUR MOUTH, SOMEBODY
COUGHS IN AN INDOOR ENVIRONMENT,
IT HANGS OUT.
HOW LONG IS IRRELEVANT.
HOW LONG IT'S GOING TO LINGER IN
THE AIR, IT COMES IN CONTACT
WITH A MUCUS MEMBRANE.
IF YOU'RE WALKING OUT IN THE
AIR, WIND IS BLOWING, A BREEZY
DAY IN MARCH, YOU'RE NOT GOING
TO GET IT JUST WALKING AROUND ON
THE STREET.
KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE FROM
PEOPLE.
DON'T GET UP IN PEOPLE'S FACES.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO RIDE THE
SUBWAY, DON'T RIDE THE SUBWAY.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO RIDE THE BUS,
DON'T RIDE THE BUS.
IT'S IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE TO
KIND OF -- THIS IS WHERE FRANKLY
I DO SEE A FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP
HERE IN NEW YORK CITY AND NEW
YORK STATE.
WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO THE
GOVERNOR AND THE MAYOR, THEY
HAVE NOT COME OUT -- MAYBE THE
GOVERNOR HAS A LITTLE BIT.
I DO GIVE HIM CREDIT ACTUALLY.
THE GOVERNMENT HAS.
BUT HE NEEDS TO DO MORE.
BUT TO COME OUT AND SAY TO NEW
YORKERS, THIS IS WHAT WE'RE
DEALING WITH AND WE KNOW WHAT IT
IS AND WE KNOW HOW TO FIGHT IT.
IT'S LIKE THE ART OF WAR, KNOW
YOUR ENEMY.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY HERE.
YOUR ENEMY IS A VIRUS.
IT'S A KNOWABLE ENEMY.
WE KNOW WHAT THE ENEMY IS.
WE KNOW HOW IT WORKS, WE KNOW
HOW TO FIGHT IT AND WE HAVE TO
FIGHT IT IN COMMENSURATE WAYS.
FRANKLY, THE MAYOR HAS COME OUT,
HAD MULTIPLE PRESS CONFERENCES
THE LAST WEEK.
EVERY SINGLE ONE HE SAYS THINGS
HAVE CHANGED IN THE LAST 24
HOURS.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED.
NOW WE HAVE TO CANCEL SCHOOL.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED, SO NOW WE
HAVE TO CANCEL SAINT PATRICK'S
DAY PARADE.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED, WE HAVE TO
CANCEL -- NOW THINGS HAVE
CHANGED, WE HAVE TO CANCEL X, Y,
Z.
THINGS HAVEN'T CHANGED.
THINGS HAVE GOTTEN PROGRESSIVELY
WORSE ALONG A PREDICTABLE
CONTINUUM.
IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT NEW
YORKERS UNDERSTAND THAT WE DO
KNOW -- I MEAN, WE KNOW
EXACTLY -- THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT
KNOWS EXACTLY HOW THIS IS GOING.
AND SO --
>> IS THERE A CHANCE, THEN --
AND WE'RE STARTING TO COME UP ON
THE END OF OUR TIME TOGETHER.
BUT IS THERE A CHANCE THAT THERE
SHOULD BE SOME SORT OF
MORATORIUM, ESPECIALLY FOR
VULNERABLE NEW YORKERS SO THAT
PERHAPS THEY AREN'T WORRYING
ABOUT MAKING SURE THEY HAVE
ENOUGH HOURS TO PAY BILLS, TO
PAY RENT, TO MAKE SURE THOSE
DEMANDS THAT MAKE THEIR LIFE SO
STRESSFUL AREN'T CLEAR?
>> IN ITALY WHEN THEY DECIDED TO
SHUTDOWN ALL OF THE COUNTRY, I
SAW IT REPORTED, THEY SACRIFICED
THEIR ECONOMY TO SAVE THEIR
PEOPLE.
AND THAT'S REALLY WHAT WE'RE
FACING HERE.
AND SO WHEN WE SAY -- WHAT I
MEAN BY THAT IS, YES, THERE HAS
TO BE A MORATORIUM ON
EVERYTHING.
LANDLORDS HAVE TO HAVE A
MORATORIUM ON COLLECTING RENT.
BANKS HAVE TO HAVE A MORATORIUM
ON COLLECTING MORTGAGE PAYMENTS.
THE CITY HAS TO HAVE A
MORATORIUM ON COLLECTING TAXES.
THIS ALL THEN HAS TO BE SORTED
OUT.
GOD WILLING, WE GET TO THE
SUMMER MONTHS AND THIS IS A
VIRUS THAT IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO
SUMMER, TO THE SEASONAL
FLUCTUATIONS GOD WILLING -- I
MEAN, I REALLY TRULY HOPE THAT
IS THE CASE.
THAT WOULD GIVE US A LITTLE BIT
OF TIME TO PREPARE FOR THE FALL
IN TERMS OF RAMPING UP OUR
HEALTH CARE CAPACITY, MAYBE A
VACCINE, ANTIVIRAL MEDICATION.
IT'S GOING TO BE UP TO THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO
ESSENTIALLY DO A STIMULUS PLAN
LIKE WE HAVE NEVER SEEN IN THIS
COUNTRY BECAUSE OTHERWISE WE ARE
LOOKING AT -- I MEAN, I'D SAY
WE'RE LOOKING AT BEYOND
RECESSION, WE'RE LOOKING AT
POTENTIAL DEPRESSION.
JUST TO GIVE YOU SOME KIND OF
CONTEXT, HERE INNER NEW YORK
CITY WE HAVE A CHARTER MANDATED
BALANCED BUDGET.
WHICH MEANS OUR REVENUES
DETERMINE THE SIZE OF OUR
BUDGET.
AND WE CAN'T REALLY GO OUTSIDE
OF OUR REVENUES .
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN
BLOWING THROUGH BALANCED BUDGETS
FOR A GENERATION.
THIS IS A TIME NOW WHEN WE
REALLY HAVE TO SAY THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO STEP IN.
WE NEED TO BE BASICALLY
BORROWING MONEY FROM FUTURE
GENERATIONS TO GET THROUGH THIS
MOMENT.
SO FIRST THINGS FIRST, SAVE OUR
PEOPLE.
THERE'S ONE THING THAT IS AN
IMPORTANT CONCEPT.
THE HEALTH OF A POPULATION IS
INTRINSICALLY LINKED TO THE
ECONOMIC HEALTH OF A POPULATION.
AND THAT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE.
IF YOU HAVE, IF YOU HAVE 4% OF
YOUR POPULATION INFECTED WITH A
DEADLY DISEASE, THAT'S GOING TO
AFFECT YOUR ECONOMY IN A CERTAIN
WAY.
BUT IF YOU HAVE 50% OF YOUR
POPULATION INFECTED WITH A
DEADLY DISEASE, WHICH IS WHAT WE
WERE LITERALLY ON TRACK TO DO IF
WE DON'T INTERVENE RIGHT NOW,
THE ECONOMIC IMPACT TO EVERYBODY
IS SO MUCH MORE WIDESPREAD AND
SO MUCH DEEPER THAT IT IS, IT
IS, IT IS CHILLING TO
CONTEMPLATE.
AND SO THAT'S WHY WE HAVE TO DO
THE EXTREME MEASURES RIGHT
NOW -- AND THEY'RE DOING IT IN
SAN FRANCISCO.
THEY'RE NOT ACTING ILL LOGICALLY
IN SAN FRANCISCO.
THEY'RE NOT ACTING ILLLOGICALLY
IN BARCELONA.
THEY'RE LOOKING AT THE SAME
STUFF WE'RE LOOKING AT AND
THEY'RE COMING TO THE CONCLUSION
THAT IN ORDER TO SAVE THEIR
PEOPLE, THIS IS WHAT WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SAVING
THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF
LIVES.
WE ALL HAVE TO DEMAND THAT WE
HAVE COLLECTIVE ACTION RIGHT
NOW.
WE CAN STEP UP.
WE'RE NEW YORKERS, FOR GOD SAKE.
WE HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE.
WE'VE DONE THIS BEFORE.
WE KNOW WE CAN DO IT.
WE DID IT AFTER 9/11.
WE KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO DO IT.
BUT IT IS GOING TO REQUIRE THAT
WE ALL GET ON BOARD.
ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO REQUIRE OUR
GOVERNMENT TO BE CLEAR WITH
PEOPLE.
THIS IS WHAT WE'RE DOING AND
THIS IS WHY WE'RE DOING IT.
THIS IS THE MATH ON IT.
THIS IS 8th GRADE MATH.
THIS IS MIDDLE SCHOOL ALGEBRA.
WE CAN EXPECT OUR PEOPLE TO GET
IT.
>> UNFORTUNATE, WE'RE OUT OF
TIME.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING
TIME TO SPEAK WITH US.
AGAIN, REALLY VALUABLE
INFORMATION.
AND, OF COURSE, WE WILL BE
FOLLOWING THE DEVELOPMENTS OF
THIS STORY AS IT CONTINUES.
>> THANKS, JENNA.
>> THANK YOU.
>> FOR THE LATEST NEWS ON THE
CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND YOUR
COMMUNITY, VISIT US AT
METROFOCUS.ORG, FACEBOOK AND
TWITTER.
GOOD NIGHT.
AND STAY SAFE.
>> Announcer: "METROFOCUS" IS
PAID POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND
MERRILL TISCH.
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.
THE CIVILITY I CAN'T A. AND
SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING
ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT
ANTI-SEMITISM.
BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARZ.
ROSALIND P. WALTER.
BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.
AND BY --

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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