New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

New York County Politics Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, May 13, 2020 by Michael Rock

Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, May 13, 2020

Gottfried Demands Inquiry of Cuomo’s  Coronavirus Nursing Home Policy

Richard N. Gottfried

Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried

Over 5,300 residents of New York nursing homes have died due to the coronavirus since the pandemic began. Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea, Midtown) is leading a group of state legislators to demand answers through an independent inquiry, the New York Post reported Tuesday. 

Though Attorney General Letitia James (D) has already begun such a probe, the lawmakers do not trust it due to her office’s work with the health department.

“There needs to be independent review of what’s going on with COVID-19 and nursing homes, especially in the context of decades of problems with nursing homes in New York and Health Department protection of nursing home residents,” said Gottfried. “A review needs to be independent…Since the state attorney general, by law, regularly is the Department’s lawyer, it would be best if the attorney general brought in an outside counsel.”

City Council Mulling Safety Net for Restaurants

Council Member Corey Johnson

Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Midtown West, Chelsea, West Village) and the NYC Hospitality Alliance led a virtual press conference Monday, ABC 7 Eyewitness News reported. The conference focused on the future of the city’s nightlife industry, including restaurants, clubs, and bars.

In order to help them reopen safely, Johnson proposed several different legislative measures. Among them were limiting fees on third party delivery platforms, forgiveness of franchise fees on sidewalk cafes, and banning charges on restaurants from delivery platforms when people who order by phone do not ultimately make a transaction.

Quart Arranges New Mask Drive

Assembly Member Dan Quart

Assembly Member Dan Quart

Assemblymember Dan Quart (Upper East Side, Midtown East) arranged a free mask giveaway Wednesday morning from nine to ten at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza with City Councilmember Keith Powers (D-Midtown East, Upper East Side, Murray Hill), Patch reported Tuesday.

He will host another Friday at the same time in Carl Schurz Park. Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island, East Harlem) and Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright (D-Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island) will accompany him.

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