New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks after the USNS Comfort pulled into a berth in Manhattan during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Manhattan borough of New York City.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called President Donald Trump a hypocrite on Tuesday after the president said he’s not inclined to bail out states, especially those run by Democrats, that have been left cash-strapped by the coronavirus.
In an interview with the New York Post, Trump said he supported Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s stance that he wouldn’t provide federal aid to blue state governments, saying that Congress is not inclined to do bailouts.
De Blasio criticized Trump’s comments, saying that he was willing to provide nearly $58 billion to bail out the airline industry but not to states to fund necessary public services like police and health care.
“He says he’s not inclined to do bailouts. He’s a pure hypocrite given how much money he’s put in the hands of the corporations and the wealthy already,” de Blasio said at a press conference. “That means he’s not inclined to help firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, police officers, doctors, nurses, health-care workers, teachers, sanitation workers.”
A screen grab of Mayor Bill de Blasio holding a copy of the New York Post during a coronavirus press conference.
He said residents are depending on the federal government to make the city, state and other local governments whole.
Trump told the New York Post that any potential bailout would be unfair to Republican-led states because the states that need financial help are “run by Democrats in every case. Florida is doing phenomenal, Texas is doing phenomenal, the Midwest is, you know, fantastic — very little debt.” Texas and Florida both have Republican governors.
De Blasio rejected Trump’s comments, however, and referenced a letter sent to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and signed by 111 of the state’s mayors requesting all Texas cities the same access to federal coronavirus relief funds, regardless of size. He also referenced reports of the coronavirus’ rapid spread through the Midwest’s meatpacking facilities.
“I don’t know what country he’s living in, but here in the United States of America people are hurting,” de Blasio said. “It doesn’t matter what state they’re in, it doesn’t matter if it’s red or blue.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has previously criticized McConnell’s support for letting states declare bankruptcy, calling it “one of the really dumb ideas of all time.” The state is grappling with a $13.3 billion shortfall in revenue compared with its original forecast, a 14% decline in the state’s projected drop in tax receipts.
The state is currently forecasting $61 billion in total lost revenue between fiscal years 2021 and 2024, Cuomo said. De Blasio has projected that Covid-19 will cost New York City a projected $7.4 billion in lost tax revenue over the current and next fiscal year after the city shuttered businesses and ordered people to stay indoors to try to contain the outbreak.
“There’s not going to be a national recovery without New York City and New York state and cities and states all around the country that have been hit so hard,” de Blasio said.
This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates.