More help needed for workers


To the editor:

As the proprietors of Astral Fitness in the Bronx, we have long advocated for a holistic lifestyle that focuses on strengthening the immune system so that it can fight off viruses such as the one that causes COVID-19.

However, even the healthiest among us can still fall victim to this insidious disease. I know, I have just begun to recover from it.

As of the time of this writing, nearly 17,000 New York residents — mostly from our great city — have tragically passed away.

Much focus has been placed on the need for personal protective equipment for our health care workers and first responders, and we are heartened to see great strides being made to provide this essential gear. But this is one tiny aspect of the need our health care system faces.

The CARES Act was a step in the right direction, but the aid provided to our health care systems is proving inadequate. The media is reporting some hospitals are losing up to $15 million a day from lost revenue resulting from canceled non-emergency procedures, as well as the exorbitant costs of sourcing personal protective equipment that far exceeds any budgetary estimation.

Hospitals are laying off staff, including nurses, and many hospitals are facing bankruptcy. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and our U.S. House delegation, must act immediately to increase funding for doctors, health care workers, and our hospitals in the COVID-19 relief package. If Congress doesn’t act, we are sure to suffer greater loss of life and irreparable harm to the health care infrastructure we need to address future threats.

There’s not a moment to waste, and our heroes deserve no less.

Matthew Johnson
Esther Ortiz

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