Nearly seven months into the coronavirus pandemic, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted Thursday that a recovery plan for the city is still in the works as he touted the launch of a local COVID-19 testing lab.
Instead of delivering a detailed recovery and revitalization plan for a coronavirus-ravaged Big Apple, de Blasio outlined a vague vision during a rare in-person press conference outside of Manhattan’s Alexandria Center for Life Science where the new lab is based inside of.
“In the coming weeks, we will provide detailed plans to realize this vision,” de Blasio said.
That “public health vision,” Hizzoner explained, has “four core principles,” that include, continuing to fight back against COVID-19, investing in “innovation to make us a stronger hub for public health research,” the creation of “high quality jobs,” and focusing on underserved communities.
“What we will give you in the coming weeks is the next steps on how we get there,” the mayor insisted.
The recovery plan will have an “obvious focus” on combating the bug that has so far killed more than 23,000 city residents — confirmed and probable — and sickened more than 230,000 across the five boroughs, de Blasio said.
He added, “New York City must be a global hub for public health research.”
“Today we lay out the foundations of our recovery agenda,” de Blasio said. “Today we present a vision that focuses on public health and social justice…these will be the pillars of our future.”
Though de Blasio announced the creation of multiple COVID-19 recovery task forces back in April, he still could not provide any specific details for his plan on Thursday regarding what the revival of New York City entails.
“We have been bringing back our economy in phases…we have been bringing back our health situation…we have been bringing back our schools,” de Blasio said when pressed by a Post reporter on what his administration has been doing in terms of a recovery plan since the creation of those task forces.
Meanwhile, de Blasio announced the launch of the “Pandemic Response Lab” located inside of the Alexandria Center for Life Science that officials say will have the capacity by November to process about 20,000 coronavirus tests per day.
The lab’s primary client will be the city’s public Health + Hospitals facilities and it has a turnaround processing time of 24 to 48 hours, officials said.
So far, the lab — which costs the city $28 per test — has already processed 4,000 tests. De Blasio said the city will create a rapid testing program and is kicking off a rapid testing design competition.
“Rapid testing will be one of the keys to overcome this crisis,” de Blasio said, adding, “Quick, reliable testing is what will help” and he noted that the COVID-19-dedicated lab “will be a key part of that solution.”
Still, the mayor promised that the revival of the Big Apple is coming.
“There will be a rebirth,” he professed. “There will be a renaissance for New York City.
“Not only will New York City get back, but New York City will go further than it ever has,” said the mayor, who added, “And the best is yet to come.”