Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol (D-North Brooklyn) today called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to stop the unproductive rhetoric that pits states against each other over COVID19 relief funding and instead negotiate direct aid to New York - the state hardest hit by the COVID19 pandemic. The financial relief packages New York State received from the federal government to date have been helpful but are not enough in the face of utter economic devastation. With New York being the most affected state in the nation due to the COVID19 pandemic, localities find themselves in desperate need of immediate funding to continue the operation of basic services while also facing a dismal long-term economic outlook. Lentol is joined by 42 colleagues in the New York State Assembly calling on Senator McConnell to begin negotiations on direct and unrestricted aid to New York State.
The COVID19 pandemic has forced New York State into unmitigated financial turmoil. New York is fighting a war on two fronts: a terrible disease on one side and economic devastation on the other, with every living soul in New York trapped in the middle. The most vulnerable among us face the cruelest choices, deciding between putting food on the table and paying rent, or risking exposure for themselves and their families to COVID19. These are choices no American should have to make.
Now is not the time for unproductive, unconscionable political rhetoric. Thousands of people are dead in New York because of COVID19, and millions more stand on the brink of economic ruin. New York has always stepped in to help fellow citizens in other states while also paying our fair share in tax dollars to the federal government. Now, we need the help of the federal government to fund the stability and well-being of New York the economic engine of the United States, said Assembly Member Lentol.
Families, tenants, small property owners, and small businesses are also in desperate need of relief. New York State has relief programs and experienced community-based organizations ready to stabilize our families and communities if given the proper funding. If our families are stable, they will use their own ingenuity to grow out of economic despair. These programs need the level of funding that only the federal government can provide.
Many New Yorkers have been pushed to the economic breaking point with no immediate relief in sight. New York State and local governments have stepped up to do all they can to support and fight for its residents. We need the federal government to do more to ensure economic stability. Countless New Yorkers rose to the challenge to help each other, oftentimes at great personal risk. We need the federal government to do more to make sure their sacrifices were not in vain.
The federal government has a Constitutional duty to help and protect states from large-scale threats they are unable to handle alone. New York State has been devastated by COVID19 - the economic impact overwhelming and human toll traumatizing. The citizens of this state need relief that only the federal government can provide and that is what we need them to do now, concluded Lentol.