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De Blasio admits there’s no plan yet for social distancing on the subway

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday said he was still ‘working’ on the plan for how people will get to work on the subway when they can return their jobs but that it won’t happen until the first two weeks of June 

Only 63 people were hospitalized with suspected COVID-19 in New York City on Monday – a tenth of how many went into hospitals on March 20, the day the city shut down – but Mayor Bill de Blasio is adamant about keeping the lockdown going until June at least. 

New York City is the last region in the state of New York to reopen and de Blasio has been vague about when the first phase will begin. 

It has met five of the seven reopening requirements set out by Gov. Cuomo but is still two percent short on hospital capacity and doesn’t have enough contact tracers. 

Long Island, by contrast, has not had a steady decrease in cases for 14 days, nor does it have enough contact tracers, but it will begin reopening tomorrow. 

Mid-Hudson also does not have enough contact tracers but it reopens on Monday. 

Neither the Mayor’s office nor the Governor’s office have explained why other regions are able to reopen before requirements are met but New York City can’t. 

In the meantime, business owners are bleeding money. 

‘The mayor’s policies are crushing our businesses, but even worse they are destroying New York. 

‘We the small business owners and worker, who are the lifeblood of the city’s economy and its dreams for the future are pleading with him to trust us to open our businesses safely, before it is too late. 

‘These policies are counterproductive, cruel and they are indiscriminately targeting our working and middle classes. 

‘They are exacerbating the gap between rich and poor,’ Bruce Backman, of Reopen NY, a coalition of 300 small businesses, told DailyMail.com on Tuesday. 

 ‘The mayor’s policies are crushing our businesses, but even worse they are destroying New York

Bruce Backman of Re-Open New York, a coalition of 300 businesses  

The number of hospital beds required to reopen is only 420 – less than half what was on the USNS Comfort, a Navy ship supplied by the federal government to the city but which was waved off at the end of April.

Why the extra beds have not been added again remains a mystery. 

Only 63 people were hospitalized with suspected COVID-19 cases on Monday. On March 20, the day the city fully shut down, 661 were hospitalized. 

Only 63 people were hospitalized in New York City on Monday which is fewer than a 10th of when the lockdown began

Only 63 people were hospitalized in New York City on Monday which is fewer than a 10th of when the lockdown began

Of the total number of people hospitalized, the vast majority are from minority communities. Shown, a breakdown of where they are

Of the total number of people hospitalized, the vast majority are from minority communities. Shown, a breakdown of where they are

NYC meets 5/7 requirements - the same as Long Island - but Long Island is starting its reopening tomorrow. The region is yet to see a 14 day decline in hospital deaths

NYC meets 5/7 requirements – the same as Long Island – but Long Island is starting its reopening tomorrow. The region is yet to see a 14 day decline in hospital deaths 

There were 73 deaths across the entire state of New York on Monday which is the lowest number since March 25.

There is mounting pressure to reopen New York City from small businesses who say they have been brought 'to their knees' by the lockdown

There is mounting pressure to reopen New York City from small businesses who say they have been brought ‘to their knees’ by the lockdown

All of the new cases are coming from either the Bronx, Queens or Brooklyn where some neighborhoods have an infection rate of more than 40 percent – more than twice the city-wide average of 19 percent. 

But both de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo still say New York City – the single largest city economy in the US and one of the most significant in the world – is not ready to reopen. 

De Blasio has added new ‘requirements’ to reopening and has said it likely won’t begin until the first half of June.  He wants to see fewer than 375 people in ICUs across the city’s 11 public hospitals before he’ll consider letting out-of-work residents back to their jobs. 

On Tuesday, he admitted at his daily press conference that he had not yet hammered out a strategy for enforcing social distancing on the subway system once people get back to work, even in the first phase.

He also refused to talk about the second phase, which lets office workers and beauty salons resume business, and said Phase 1 would last ‘at least several weeks’. 

‘We still have to make sure we don’t end up with a lot of crowded buses and subway cars. 

‘As we get closer to phase one we’ll provide people with clearer guidance on how to approach that. 

‘But I think the central question, working with the MTA is, what’s the maximum amount of service they can put into play and what measures do we need to put in place to make sure there is social distancing in place. 

‘We’re working on that right now,’ he said. 

Later, when asked for more detail like whether masks would be handed out, he said: ‘These are conversations that are happening right now.’  

De Blasio said he feels ‘confident’ that the first phase, which is to let manufacturing and construction jobs back to work, in the first or second week of June. 

But it will mean hundreds of thousands of people getting back onto public transport again.

At present, the subway is closing every night between 1am and 5am to be disinfected. It is unclear if that will continue when people start getting back to work and if the MTA plans to operate a reduced or increased service when people get back to work. 

Throughout the shutdown, 10,000 essential workers relied on the subway between those hours to get to work. 

They have been provided with alternative transport on buses and even in private Lyfts and Ubers, by the city, but that is unfeasible with hundreds of thousands of others who will need it when they can get back to their jobs. 

People on the subway on May 17. Some wore masks, others did not. The subway has been running throughout the pandemic

People on the subway on May 17. Some wore masks, others did not. The subway has been running throughout the pandemic

Every train is being disinfected every night between the hours of 1am and 5am but it is unclear if that will continue

Every train is being disinfected every night between the hours of 1am and 5am but it is unclear if that will continue 

BROADWAY PLANS FOR JANUARY REOPENING

Broadway does not anticipate shows being available to the public again until January next year. 

Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that she thinks audiences won’t be able to come back until next year but that they will have to wear masks. 

‘Let’s say Broadway can’t come back next January, then it can’t come back in the spring, will there be a different model? I don’t know, but we want to ask, if we want to work in theater, and if we want international tourism in New York City to come back, and if we want the city to be all that it is—then maybe.

‘I think you’ll probably see a lot of contactless activities, like with scanning tickets, and no faucets and hand flushes in the restrooms,’ she said. 

De Blasio’s bleak outlook on the timeline of reopening means that each phase will take two weeks and the  entire four phase plan would then take two months.

‘In terms of Phase 2, I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. 

‘We have to get to phase one and prove that phase one works. 

‘That will obviously be for at least several weeks,’ he said. 

There are now just two things holding NYC back from reopening. 

It needs 30 percent of its hospital beds but is lacking around 420 to reach that number. 

Another 800 or so contact tracers still need to be hired to meet the target of 2,500 which de Blasio says will be achieved ‘in the first two weeks of June.’ 

Cuomo’s office has not commented on when the city will meet the targets. 

‘Liar’: De Blasio is blasted for making the ‘outrageous’ claim that small businesses are prepared to ‘hang on for a few more months’ as store owners beg to reopen before they lose everything

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday. He is refusing to end New York's lockdown for at least a few more weeks and claimed last week small businesses were 'hanging on'

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday. He is refusing to end New York’s lockdown for at least a few more weeks and claimed last week small businesses were ‘hanging on’

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been blasted as a ‘liar’ for claiming that struggling small businesses are ‘hanging on’ and are prepared to stay closed for ‘months’ yet as he continues to cling on to the city’s lockdown despite mounting calls to reopen. 

New York City saw just 63 hospitalizations for suspected COVID-19 cases on Monday, less than a tenth of the number on March 20 when the city went into lockdown, but still de Blasio and Cuomo refuse to say when the city will reopen again. 

In an interview with WNYC radio on Friday, de Blasio claimed: ‘I’ve talked to lots and lots of business leaders, especially the smallest businesses. 

‘They’re very worried about their futures understandably, but they also are hanging on and they know it can be a matter of months until they’ll be back in action.’  

The remark has been met with outrage by small business owners who say they are barely still surviving. 

Some called his remark ‘outrageous’ and particularly offensive from someone who owns two homes in Park Slope, an expensive neighborhood in Brooklyn. 

Hundreds of businesses have joined together to form a coalition to reopen the city. 

Some have taken it into their own hands to reopen because they simply cannot afford to stay closed any longer, and they have received summonses from the NYPD.  Many are now asking why mega retailers like Costco and Walmart have been allowed to stay open throughout the pandemic while smaller stores that are able to enforce social distancing practices more seamlessly have been forced shut. 

Others demanded to know which businesses de Blasio had spoken to that said they were surviving. 

Max Calicchio and Alison Marchese own Max's Es-ca

An employee from Aunt Butchie's also joined

Staten Island restaurateurs Max Calicchio and Alison Marchese (left) and an employee from Aunt Butchie’s (right). They are all begging the local government to let them start making money again

‘This is not the conversation I’ve had with moms and pops,’ Julia Marsh tweeted in response to the mayor’s comments. 

Another blasted de Blasio as a ‘liar’, while Senator Simcha Felder, the Democratic State Senator for New York’s 17th District, said: ‘Small business owners are bleeding and dying. 

‘I have yet to hear the Mayor’s explanation. Small businesses cannot last another day let alone 6 months. 

‘Maybe if I was renting out 2 Park Slope homes I’d understand. 

De Blasio owns two homes in Park Slope which he rents out for more than $100,000 a year while he and his wife live for free in Gracie Mansion on the Upper East Side. 

He is still collecting rent from his tenants, saying they were employed and able to pay their rent. 

‘Out of all the things that have come out of his mouth, this is the most outrageous. 

‘He lives in a de Blasio land. That is the furthest thing from the truth. He is not in touch with reality and all he has to do is walk down a commercial corridor to understand what is happening to our small businesses. 

‘He is setting up the city for failure. He’s going to leave City Hall in the worse condition that this city has experienced since World War II and the Great Depression,’ councilman Mark Gjonaj told The New York Post. 

De Blasio and Cuomo refuse to address why New York City cannot reopen yet despite mounting losses in the commercial sector.

Major landlords collected just 20 percent of their normal income in April and May, and leaders in the hospitality industry say they predict job losses of up to 68 percent. 

‘For leisure and hospitality, including restaurants and hotels, the downturn equates to a virtual apocalypse — a job loss of 68 percent.     

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk