An ambulance with a patient suffering respiratory issues outside a hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
A group of southern Brooklyn elected officials are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to open a coronavirus testing site in Bay Ridge for first responders and other frontline essential workers, saying they are being shut out at other locations. "We are writing to call for a local COVID-19 testing site in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for first responders and frontline essential workers who are putting their health and lives on the line amid the current pandemic," reads the bipartisan letter signed by eight pols representing the area.
"Our offices have heard from many first responders & essential workers and their family members that they have been refused tests at other testing sites in the city. The unmet need for testing is widespread, and the demand has long outweighed the supply, but the fact that we are failing to prioritize people who are working to protect us in the midst of all of this– who face a high risk of contracting the virus and also of transmitting it to others– is unacceptable." The eight signers include Rep. Jerold Nadler and Councilman Justin Brannan, both Democrats, as well as Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. They want to work with Cuomo and de Blasio to select a site in Bay Ridge, a neighborhood where many first responders reside. "Our first responders and medical professionals keep us safe in the best of times, and their work is always crucial," the elected officials said. "We need to get them tested and keep them protected, not just as a symbolic thank you, but in recognition of the fact that our city and state's whole response to this pandemic falls apart if we cannot rely on their lifesaving work."