NYC mayor calls for federal stimulus to help U.S. cities, states fight COVID-19

By Xia Lin

NEW YORK, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday asked the federal government to provide monetary stimulus as soon as possible to help U.S. cities and states fend off the COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged the nation for eight months and claimed almost 228,000 U.S. lives.

"The only thing that guarantees the comeback is a real federal stimulus, a serious one that helps cities and states, that helps people get back on their feet, (and) helps small businesses come back. That's going to be the game-changer," the mayor was quoted by a government press release as speaking live on CNN.

With the federal stimulus in place to stimulate economic activity and make things different, not only New York but the whole state can come back strong, he said.

Meanwhile, the mayor jabbed U.S. President Donald Trump for his inaction in pushing through the stimulus plan, saying, "He's never done it."

"He did not provide the leadership. He literally wouldn't even comment on it for weeks on end. That was the lost opportunity," added de Blasio.

The release also quoted the mayor as saying that the city's whole focus now is to stop a second wave of the coronavirus from hitting New York City.

"We've got to hold this virus at bay. We've shown it can happen. You're right, we went from worst to first. We became one of the healthiest places in the country because folks got very disciplined about wearing masks, about social distancing," said the mayor.

Earlier this month, the Democrats-controlled House passed a 2.2-trillion-U.S.-dollar relief bill, while the White House recently offered up to nearly 1.9 trillion dollars. However, some Senate Republicans insisted on a figure below 1 trillion dollars.

"I can only say that if we're negotiating with the president, then it's up to him to bring aboard the Republican members of the United States Senate, because we're not going to then negotiate with them," U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday.

Pelosi's remarks came as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 943.24 points, or 3.43 percent, on Wednesday as investors grew concerned over soaring COVID-19 infections and the possible economic consequences.

Economists, as well as Federal Reserve officials, have repeatedly argued that more fiscal relief is needed to sustain U.S. economic recovery, warning of dire consequences if further fiscal support is not provided in time.

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