Public Health Will Drive NYCs Recovery, De Blasio Pledges – New York City, NY Patch

NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Bill de Blasio laid out a grand vision of public health investment driving New York City’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

But his lofty, promised-filled speech Thursday from Governor’s Island gave few details on specific plans.

Those will be rolled out in coming weeks, he said, leaving reporters and the public only with a broad outline of his strategy. Public health and social justice will form the pillars of the city’s recovery,he said.

“Public health is economic health,” he said.

De Blasio’s speech departed from his typical daily briefings lately conducted remotely from a table. He spoke from a lectern Thursday with a waterfront backdrop, describing how New York City has been “forged in the fire” of the pandemic.

Standing alongside the city’s new Pandemic Response Lab — a public facility that officials said soon will run 20,000 daily coronavirus deaths with 24-hour turnaround times — de Blasio said New York City can be transformed into a “living laboratory.”

He said the city could become a global hub of health care innovation through the growth of facilities like the Pandemic Response Lab. Four principles will guide the city’s recovery, he said — continuing momentum on health projects, investment in innovation, creating high quality jobs that improve New Yorkers’ health and focusing on historically-underserved communities.

The city soon will launch a rapid testing design competition, create dedicated research and development facilities and launch a public health corps, he said.

There are other factors at play in New York City’s recovery, he acknowledged,

“But what we have learned in the last seven months, is it begins and ends with health care,” he said. “That is the indispensable piece of the equation.”

De Blasio faced tough questions from reporters over specifics on his plans. He promised more details in coming weeks and said the speech served as broad strategy for how the city will move forward.

He then walked away from the conference after reporters pressed him to ask more questions.