New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

David Cruz

Gothamist NYC Stockpiles Nearly $1 Billion Worth Of PPE As Second COVID-19 Wave Looms by David Cruz

NYC Stockpiles Nearly $1 Billion Worth Of PPE As Second COVID-19 Wave Looms

And despite the volume of PPE presented, the city's reserve remains insufficient, according to Manhattan City Councilmember Ben Kallos, who chairs the council's contracts committee.

"Mayor de Blasio needs to be honest with New Yorkers about the status of our stockpile," Kallos told Gothamist/WNYC. "I'm just upset that they put this out without putting it in the context of what their goal is."

Kallos said that an administrator with the city Health Department testified at a City Council hearing last month that 13.5 million N95 masks are needed to keep the supply from running out.

"They're claiming victory with 9.3 million masks, which is only enough for 60 days when we know we faced shortages last time," Kallos said.

Gothamist City Council Hears Plenty Of Skepticism On NYC School Reopening Plan by David Cruz

City Council Hears Plenty Of Skepticism On NYC School Reopening Plan

"My school is not ready to reopen, we do not have the proper ventilation system, our school population increases every year. And we're not prepared for this upcoming school year. And I think that every other school is not ready to do so either," said Diep. "This is coming from a student who did, in fact, struggle with online learning, and was able to be privileged to have the choice between remote learning and the hybrid learning system."

Because the emergency hearing was technically to consider a resolution declaring schools remain unsafe to reopen, it did not obligate the city officials, including de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, to appear and testify. As a result, Councilmember Ben Kallos mockingly marked them down as "absent."

"They're getting an 'F' in today's pop quiz," said Kallos. "And that's just putting it lightly."

Miranda Barbot, a DOE spokesperson, said in a statement, “The resolution was primarily to push back the first day of school, which we already announced earlier this week. We will testify later this month.“