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FDNY responds to de Blasio probably shedding frontline coronavirus employees over income shortfalls

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The FDNY condemned Mayor Bill de Blasio for suggesting there may very well be cuts to frontline employees within the close to future if New York doesn’t get funding in Congress’ subsequent spherical of coronavirus reduction, accusing him of utilizing first responders as a “political pawn.”

“He is utilizing us a political pawn to get again at [Sen. Mitch] McConnell or [President] Trump and get them to incorporate New York within the stimulus package deal which I’ve no drawback with,” FDNY Firefighter’s Affiliation President Gerard Fitzgerald advised Fox Information on Wednesday. “Clearly New York is in want like in every single place else, however I do not assume he wanted to make use of the livelihoods of first responders as a political pawn.”

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Republican lawmakers similar to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have mentioned they’re prepared to let the states plummet into chapter 11 quite than present one other spherical of bailout reduction to the areas hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

New York has sustained probably the most quantity of casualties from the virus within the U.S., which has killed 25,231 folks and contaminated 321,192 extra within the state — and the financial results have been crippling.

De Blasio — a Democrat — referred to as Trump a “hypocrite” who “appears to take pleasure in stabbing his residence city within the again,” and mentioned frontline employees could be among the many financial casualties if New York would not obtain a much-needed enhance quickly.

“How are we going to help these individuals who we’d like if we have no cash? I’ve misplaced $7.four billion already and my economic system cannot come again till I get that stimulus,” the mayor mentioned at a press convention on Wednesday.

Fitzgerald referred to as the transfer “deplorable” and an try for de Blasio to seize the eye of lawmakers as strain mounts to move the subsequent spherical of multibillion-dollar reduction.

“In the course of this pandemic, after we are the primary hyperlink within the well being care chain going out and placing ourselves at risk and placing our households at risk after we go residence, the very last thing we’d like is to be advised that a few of our members might lose their job someplace down the road,” Fitzgerald mentioned.

“I feel they’re annoyed that we might be utilized in that means. As a result of we’re one of the best at what we do. as a result of we’re world-renowned, FDNY being the bravest and NYPD being the best — everyone acknowledges us, so Washington’s no totally different,” he added.

Greater than 2,000 FDNY firefighters have been identified with the virus, and the union president mentioned near 700 of them are nonetheless out of fee.

De Blasio didn’t present particulars on the state’s proposed finances or rapid plans on cuts to frontline employees, which embody firefighters, law enforcement officials and medical personnel.

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“One of many key missions of the New York Metropolis authorities is to maintain New York Metropolis residents secure. We’re a part of that — the police and the hearth division — that is what we do. When it comes right down to reducing that, you are messing with folks’s lives,” Fitzgerald added.

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