Local elected officials wrote a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to call for a local COVID-19 testing site in Bay Ridge for first responders and frontline essential workers who are putting their health and lives on the line amid the current pandemic.
Councilmember Justin Brannon signed the letter along with Congressmember Jerry Nadler, State Senator Andrew Gounardes, Assemblymembers Peter Abbate, Nicole Malliotakis, Diane Savino, Felix Ortiz and Mathylde Frontus
“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 letter states. “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 pols took to social media to share their thoughts on the letter.
“We are united in our call for a COVID-19 testing site in Bay Ridge for first responders, healthcare workers and other essential front-line employees that have been shut out at other locations,” Brannan said. “Now's not the time for politics but for saving lives. We must stem this deadly tide.”
“We are requesting a COVID-19 testing site in Bay Ridge for our first responders and essential workers,” said Ortiz. “We need to protect the people that are protecting and supporting us during this health crisis.”
“1st responders are getting sick and the # is actually higher than what’s being reported because some are being denied tests,” added Malliotakis. “We need to test & identify them to stop spread or we won’t be able to staff #FDNY #NYPD, etc. I joined @JustinBrannan push.”
“Our first responders are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, putting themselves at risk to keep us healthy,” added Nadler. “They need access to testing not only to ensure their own safety, but to protect their patients. If they aren't safe, none of us are.”
The letter also states, “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. Yes, our first responders and frontline essential workers need tests because they deserve it, but also because all New Yorkers are counting on it.”