Federal Legislator Backs Proposal to Extend September 11 Safeguards to Coronavirus
A screen shot from Monday evening’s online meeting of the Downtown Independent Democrats political club (to which all participants linked remotely, via the Internet, from their homes), during which Lower Manhattan community leader Justine Cuccia (upper right) proposed to United States Congressman (center) that federal programs aiding September 11 first responders and survivors be expanded to cover the pandemic coronavirus
United States Congressman Jerry Nadler has endorsed a proposal by a Lower Manhattan community leader to expand the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) September 11th Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) to cover illness and death from the pandemic coronavirus among the populations of first responders and survivors whose health was impacted by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
An an online meeting of the Downtown Independent Democrats political club on Monday evening, Mr. Nadler was asked by Justine Cuccia, a co-founder of the grassroots organization, Democracy for Battery Park City, whether he would, “support an expansion of the Health Program and the VCF to cover COVID-19, because the survivor population are among those who are at heightened risk of complications from this disease?”
This was a reference to the fact that thousands of first responders and survivors, who inhaled toxic debris from the collapse of the Twin Towers in September, 2001, now have compromised respiratory systems as a result. This places them at graver risk of complications from coronavirus (and COVID-19, the deadly disease that the pathogen causes), because vulnerability in the pulmonary system heightens the probability of symptoms and death from the virus.
Mr. Nadler responded to this question by saying, “yes, I think that’s a very good idea. I hadn’t thought of it, but as you know, I was the author of the laws creating the World Trade Center Health Program and the Victims Compensation Fund.”
September 11, 2001
This was a reference to a pair of related federal programs for which Mr. Nadler (who represents Lower Manhattan in Washington) led the charge in Congress. The WTCHP provides medical care to first responders and survivors (those who resided, worked, or attended school in a zone surrounding the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, or the months that followed) who have been afflicted with a growing list of more than 200 ailments that have been clinically certified to correlate with exposure to toxins from the site. The VCF awards financial compensation to people suffering from these diseases.
Mr. Nadler continued, “I like that idea. It’s something we will work on.”
In a related development, patients enrolled in the WTCHP have been advised not to cancel or reschedule existing appointments. Instead, clinic staff will be contacting these patients to make arrangements to convert these sessions into a tele-visits. All program participants with prescriptions for their certified World Trade Center-related conditions are strongly encouraged to sign up for Optum Home Delivery which allows for 90-day prescription fills and delivers directly to members by mail. For more information, please call Optum at (855) 640–0005, Option 2. For members who prefer to pick up prescriptions at retail pharmacies, the Program is waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications. Please call Optum at (855) 640–0005, Option 3 for more information.
In one sense, Mr. Nadler’s endorsement of Ms. Cuccia’s proposal would merely validate and extend an initiative that has already begun. The World Trade Center Health Program is currently covering limited COVID-19 testing for enrollees with certain certified World Trade Center-related conditions that may put them at higher risk of illness from COVID-19. In addition to testing, treatment for COVID-19 is also covered, contingent on certain criteria being met, including that the member was eligible for COVID-19 testing, the treatment is authorized by the Program, and the treatment is not experimental. Coverage of COVID-19 treatment costs requires approval by the WTCHP’s administrator, on a case-by-case basis.
(Editor’s Note: Ms. Cuccia is related to the reporter who wrote this story.)
To the Vector…
Lower Manhattan’s Position as a Nexus Belies Modest Local Infection Tally
The buildings at 32 and 42 Broadway, where the City’s Board of Elections is headquartered, has become a local hotspot for the pandemic coronavirus, with 15 staff members testing positive for the disease.
A Lower Manhattan office building has emerged as a local hotspot for the pandemic coronavirus, which underscores Lower Manhattan’s status as junction for the City as a whole. In a story first reported by Gothamist, 15 employees of the City’s Board of Elections (which occupies a seventh-floor suite spanning two adjoining buildings, at 32 and 42 Broadway, near Bowling Green) have tested positive for the disease. Two staff members at the Board of Elections have died from the virus, while a third employee has also succumbed, with that death not yet directly attributed to the outbreak.
This development comes in the wake of multiple recent bulletins that workers in numerous other Lower Manhattan offices — among them Brookfield Place, the New York Stock Exchange, 100 Church Street (a building that houses multiple City and State agencies), the NYPD’s First Precinct, and Police Headquarters, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office (next door to the NYPD’s headquarters building) — have all been diagnosed with the disease. In a related disclosure, multiple inmates at the federal jail in Lower Manhattan, the Metropolitan Correction Center (located on Park Row) have also tested positive for the virus.
Facing Adversity, One Community Leader Tries to Lead By Example
In the days following September 11, 2001, Bob Townley called the community together at the basketball court at the intersection of Canal Street and Avenue of the Americas.
Bob Townley, the founder and executive director of Manhattan Youth, reflects, “I’ve been through this before — twice, actually.” He is referring to a pair of previous cataclysms that seemed to threaten the viability of the Lower Manhattan community he serves, as well as the organization he leads.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the inundation of Hurricane Sandy, 11 years later, both wrecked the neighborhood. And both raised questions about whether Manhattan Youth, which provides services to thousands of school children, families, and seniors, could remain viable. So the ongoing crisis related to the pandemic coronavirus is not without precedent for him.
“In the fall of 2001,” he recalls, “pieces of the World Trade Center were in a pool on Rector Place, where we had been giving toddlers swimming lessons a few days before. And when I finally got back into our Downtown Community Center in November, 2012, we had 20 feet of water in the basement. The entire bottom level, and a second story below the street, were both submerged.”
New Amsterdam Market returns in virtual format, as a service to the growing community of purveyors, distributors, producers and other small businesses who are creating regional, sustainable, regenerative, healthful, and equitable food systems.
This initial listing is focused primarily on New York City and is by no means comprehensive. We welcome all suggestions for expanding our Directory to include like-minded businesses in the Northeast States including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware; Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Presentation by Jackson Wandres, RLA, Director of Landscape Architecture, NV5
The Manhattan Community Board 1 office is closed until further notice.
Please use email@example.com as the principal means of communication with Community Board 1 staff.
NEWS FROM PREVIOUS EDITIONS
OF THE BROADSHEETDAILY
City Releases Data about Local Rates of Infection
Lower Manhattan’s eight zip codes are the site of 309 confirmed cases
A total of 309 residents of Lower Manhattan (among 724 who have been tested) are confirmed to have been infected by the pandemic coronavirus, according to statistics released by the City’s Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday.
Developing Stories: Native Photographers in the Field
National Museum of the American Indian
Developing Stories: Native Photographers in the Field is a pair of sequential photo essays created by Native photojournalists Russel Albert Daniels and Tailyr Irvine in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian. The work of both photographers springs from the same desires—to break down stereotypes of Native peoples and to portray stories that show the diversity and complexity of their contemporary lives.
While the installation of the first photo essay by Daniels — The Genízaro People of Abiquiú — is postponed due to coronavirus, the photo essay is online.
Celebrate Endangered Species Day (May 15) and the 50th anniversary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by participating in the Greater Atlantic Region’s Marine Endangered Species Art Contest.
Endangered and threatened species need our help. Students’ artwork will showcase their knowledge and commitment to protecting these animals. Throughout 2020, NOAA is celebrating 50 years of science, service, and stewardship. NOAA is a world-class forecasting and resource management agency with a reach that goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor. In the next 50 years, NOAA will advance innovative research and technology, answer tough scientific questions, explored the unexplored, inspire new approaches to conservation, and power the U.S. economy. Through April 24
This documentary series explores the shared commitment to the mission behind the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. From showing how we create new traditions of tribute, to demonstrating our unique conservation techniques, the short films go beyond the surface to immerse viewers in untold stories of honor and remembrance. Click here to view the series.
Today through April 30
The Stories They Tell
9/11 Memorial and Museum
Family members, survivors, first responders and recovery workers discuss the 9/11 history they are helping to preserve through the material they have shared with the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Click here.
Offerings include morning warmup/stretching/conditioning exercises, mid-day classes in contemporary dance with afro, ballet and jazz fusion elements, evening classes in varied ballroom styles, plus a daily short video at 4pm by dancers performing in their living rooms.
Today through April 30
Tourist in Your Own Town Videos
The New York Landmarks Conservancy
Now that most of us are staying home, you can take virtual tours of New York City.Visit Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, Alexander Hamilton’s home in Upper Manhattan, the Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan, the site of the Battle of Brooklyn, the home of one of America’s first female photographers on Staten Island, and Louis Armstrong’s home in Queens. There are 61 sites in all. You’ll be amazed at the discoveries you will make.
Downtown Food Festival Supports Local Restaurants by Feeding Healthcare Workers
The ever-popular Taste of Tribeca food festival has been cancelled for this year, but the organizers are rallying support to help the now-struggling restaurants that have contributed food for decades, by purchasing meals to donate to hospital workers.
Starting today, up to 100 free meals will be arriving daily at local healthcare facilities, prepared by half a dozen Lower Manhattan restaurants, and paid for with contributions solicited by the Downtown parents who organize the Taste of Tribeca food festival.
For the past 25 years, that event has accepted food contributed by dozens of eateries, and sold these “tastes” at a street fair, to raise money for two beloved local public schools: P.S. 234 and P.S. 150. Earlier this month, however, mounting concerns about the pandemic coronavirus forced the first-ever cancellation of the event.
A guard posted to the lobby of the Radisson New York Wall Street Hotel demands that a reporter leave on Monday afternoon, after refusing to answer questions about homeless people being sheltered there.
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is housing several dozen homeless people in a luxury hotel in the Financial District. In a story first reported by the New York Post, the Radisson New York Wall Street Hotel (located at the corner of William and Pine Streets), which has been closed in the wake of the pandemic coronavirus, is being used (at least temporarily) as shelter for homeless adults.
The Broadsheet could not ascertain whether this is an interim measure, or if the City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) intends to house its clients at this site indefinitely. Also unclear is whether the hotel is being used as a quarantine facility, in the wake of reports that more than 100 residents in the City’s homeless shelter system have tested positive for the coronavirus, and two have died.
When a reporter approached the front door of the hotel on Monday afternoon to inquire, security guards in surgical masks and plastic ponchos refused to answer questions, demanded that he stop taking photographs, and ordered him to leave. The DHS did not return calls asking for comment.
Biking through traffic seven years ago at lunch hour in downtown Manhattan compared to the dearth of people and traffic after the Corona virus epidemic is a huge contrast. Footage is sped up, so although it may look a but scary, the ride was totally safe!
Thanks and be well! -Esther R.
Bravo to the Frontline Workers!
Scanning Rector Place from his window the other night, Lower Manhattan resident Marcello de Peralta captured heartfelt community appreciation for workers at the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Seaport Dog Walkers Maintain Social Distancing; Their Dogs, Well, That’s Another Matter
FiDi resident Mike Devereaux sent photos of Pier 16 morning dog walks
Local Luminaries Claimed by Pandemic, with Tally of Losses Poised to Grow
A truck parked on Spruce Street, outside of New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, that appears to be intended for use as a temporary morgue.
Hospitals around New York, already coping with a tsunami of patients made critically ill by the pandemic coronavirus, have begun to prepare for a second onslaught: a wave of deceased victims.
Like healthcare facilities throughout the five boroughs, New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital now has an unmarked, refrigerated truck parked outside. On Spruce Street, surrounded by traffic barricades and caution tape, the trailer’s back end is discretely cloaked by a white tent, connecting it to a nearby exit from the building. This will allow movement between the doors and the truck, concealed from public view. As is the case at more than a dozen other hospitals around Manhattan, this truck appears to be earmarked for use as a temporary morgue.
Lower Manhattan Health Resources for Residents with Concerns
Government officials are asking that people with non-urgent health problems avoid showing up at hospital emergency rooms, which are already overburdened.
Instead, they ask that patients who have concerns consult with their personal physicians. Those in need of non-emergency medical help can also call (or walk into) one of the five Lower Manhattan urgent care clinics that remain open. As of Thursday afternoon, these are:
• CityMD Financial District (24 Broad Street). No appointment necessary. 646-647-1259.
• CityMD Fulton (138 Fulton Street). No appointment necessary. 212-271-4896.
• CityMD Tribeca (87 Chambers Street). No appointment necessary. 347-745-8321.
• NYU Langone at Trinity (111 Broadway). Appointment required. 212-263-9700.
• Mount Sinai Doctors (225 Greenwich Street, fifth floor). No appointment necessary. 212-298-2720.
That noted, anyone experiencing dangerous symptoms (such as trouble breathing or dangerous spikes in body temperature) is encouraged to go to a hospital emergency room.
Two Lower Manhattan healthcare providers are also offering Virtual Visits, in which patients can consult over the phone or video link with a physician or nurse practitioner.
To schedule such a session with NYU Langone, please browse: NYULangone.org, and click on Virtual Urgent Care.
To make an appointment with New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, please browse NYP.org, and click on Virtual Urgent Care.
Patients enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program are advised not to cancel or reschedule existing appointments. Clinic staff will be contacting you to make arrangements to convert these sessions into a tele-visits.
All program participants with prescriptions for their certified WTC-related conditions are strongly encouraged to sign up for Optum Home Delivery which allows for 90-day prescription fills and delivers directly to members by mail.
For more information, please call Optum at 855-640–0005, Option 2. For members who prefer to pick up prescriptions at retail pharmacies, the program is waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications. Please call Optum at 855-640–0005, Option 3 for more information.
The World Trade Center Health Program is also covering limited COVID-19 testing for members with certain certified World Trade Center-related conditions that may put them at higher risk of illness from COVID-19. In addition to testing, treatment for COVID-19 is also covered, contingent on certain criteria being met, including that the member was eligible for COVID-19 testing, the treatment is authorized by the program, and the treatment is not experimental. Coverage of COVID-19 treatment costs requires approval by the program’s administrator, on a case-by-case basis.
Desperate Times for Street Food Vendors
Council Member and Advocacy Group Petition for Funds and to Suspend Most Enforcement Actions Toward Food Carts
Street vendors, who are mostly ineligible for benefits like unemployment or health insurance, have recently suffered losses of more than 80 percent of their usual revenue.
As the pandemic coronavirus continues to grip New York, one cohort of the Downtown community is experiencing a heightened level of distress, according to City Council member Margaret Chin and a non-profit advocacy group based in Lower Manhattan. To read more…
The Niou Deal
Assembly Member Proposes Finance Reform as Funding Mechanism for Affordable Housing
State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou: “When you go shopping in New York City, how much extra do you pay for sales tax? This transfer tax of one-half of one percent is less than one-sixteenth of what you pay. But it would raise billions for public housing.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that planning must begin immediately for how to rebuild the wreckage of the economy, once the health crisis brought on by the pandemic cononavirus has abated.
“We have to start to plan the pivot back to economic functionality,” he said during a press conference at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s west side, where he announced the start of construction on a temporary hospital. “You can’t stop the economy forever.” To read more…
Going to the Mattresses
Lower Manhattan Hunkers Down, as Coronavirus Crisis Grinds On
Multiple residents of Lower Manhattan have now tested positive for the pandemic coronavirus, including one tenant at Gateway Plaza in Battery Park City, who has been hospitalized and is breathing with the assistance of a mechanical ventilator, according to a range of sources with direct knowledge of the circumstances.
In a separate development, a resident of Battery Park City died on Saturday after plunging from the 16th floor of his building at 400 Chambers Street, in an apparent suicide.
On a more encouraging note, a teacher at P.S./I.S. 276 (also located in Battery Park City), who exhibited symptoms that warranted a test for coronavirus, has been confirmed to be free of the disease.
Repurposing of Rivington House Might Help Meet Need for Clinical Capacity Arising from Pandemic
Rivington House on the Lower East Side
A Lower Manhattan building steeped in controversy may become a lifeline for people infected by the pandemic COVID-19 virus. In a story first reported by Crain’s New York, Rivington House is being considered as a possible treatment site.
The Lower East Side building served for decades as an HIV/AIDS care facility. But in 2014, the structure was acquired by real estate speculators, who paid a fraction of its market value, because a deed restriction that committed the building to use as a clinic. To read more…
Meditations in an Emergency
Our Hometown and the Myth of Eternal Return
You tell yourself that you’ve seen this story before, and more than once: edifices falling; waters rising. And you reflect that the worst situations are not those that can’t get any worse. The worst situations are the ones that are going to get worse before they get better. So you hunker down.
You recall the Old Man deciding, a lifetime ago, that since you were too old for fairy tales, you were perhaps old enough for true confessions. To read more…
A Lifeline for Mom-and-Pop Shops
Amid Coron-Apocalypse, City Offers Loans and Grants for Struggling Small Businesses
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has inaugurated a program to aid small businesses that have experienced financial hardship because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Firms with fewer than 100 employees, which have undergone sales decreases of 25 percent or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. The City’s Department of Small Business Services is also offering small businesses with fewer than five employees a grant to cover 40 percent of payroll costs for two months, to help retain employees.
529 – First draft of Civil Juris Civilis, a cornerstone work in jurisprudence is issued by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I
1788 – American pioneers to the Northwest Territory establish Marietta, Ohio, as the first permanent American settlement in the Northwest Territory
1827 – John Walker, an English chemist, sells the first friction match that he had invented the previous year.
1922 – The United States Secretary of Interior leases federal petroleum reserves to private oil companies on excessively generous terms.
Known as the Teapot Dome scandal, Secretary of the Interior Albert Bacon Fall had leased two Navy petroleum reserves at Teapot Dome in Wyoming.
1927 – The first long-distance public television broadcast (from Washington, D.C. to New York City)
1948 – The World Health Organization is established by the United Nations.
1954 – United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his “domino theory” speech during a news conference. The domino theory is a political belief system, established by the U.S. government in the 1950s, that determined if one nation adopts communist government framework, then the neighboring countries would follow suit like the falling of dominoes. This was a political strategy as the Cold War intensified between the United States and Soviet Union.
2001 – The Mars Odyssey, a robotic spacecraft ordering the planet, is launched on a mission to detect the potential presence of water or ice, as well as study Martian geology and the radiation environment.
Gabriela Mistral, Chilean poet, educator and diplomat, Nobel Prize laureate
1506 – Francis Xavier, Spanish missionary and saint, co-founded the Society of Jesus, a.k.a. Jesuits (d. 1552)
1860 – Will Keith Kellog, American businessman, founded the Kellogg Company (d. 1951)
1889 – Gabriela Mistral, Chilean poet, educator and diplomat, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1957) She was the first Latin American recipient for this award.
1933 – Wayne Rogers, American actor, and producer (d. 2015)
1663 – Francis Cooke, English-American settler (b. 1583)
1947 – Henry Ford, American engineer and businessman, founded the Ford Motor Company (b. 1879)
1968 – Edwin Baker, Canadian co-founder of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (b. 1893)