WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES APRIL 30, 2020 13
BY ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ
Our district is the epicenter of the epicenter. Among the ZIP codes with the highest number
of positive cases, fi ve of the top 10 reside in NY-14. The neighborhoods of Jackson
Heights, Corona, Elmhurst and East Elmhurst have a combined population of about
600,000 and more than 7,260 coronavirus cases. Manhattan, with nearly three times as many
people, had about 10,860 cases.
Our community is also disproportionately at risk for the greatest consequences of the virus.
Bronx residents are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than other New York City residents.
Latinx people also comprise 34 percent of the COVID-19-related deaths in New York City, the
largest share for any racial or ethnic group.
Congress has not yet done nearly enough to address this crisis. I believe our next stimulus
must include three critical policies. First, we must provide recurring monthly payments
of $2,000 per individual and $1,000 for dependents. Second, unlike the last stimulus package,
immigrants must be given relief. Those with tax ID numbers should receive stimulus
checks, and all immigrants, regardless of
status, should be eligible for healthcare
programs. Finally, we must expand public
plans like Medicare and Medicaid to cover
those who lose their insurance when they
lose their jobs.
There is some relief currently available.
To date, Congress has made COVID-19
testing free; required companies of fewer
than 500 people to provide paid sick and
family leave; increased funding for food
banks and nutrition programs; granted
direct cash assistance for adults with Social
Security numbers earning $99,000 or
less; created a new pandemic unemployment
insurance program; and provided
relief for small businesses.
To learn more about how to apply for
any of these programs — and to learn
about resources available to immigrant
communities — go to my website, ocasiocortez.
house.gov, or call our offi ce, 718-
662-5970. Last week, our offi ce responded
to over 400 inquiries.
We know many of you are facing issues
applying for unemployment. The state has
revamped its website in response. Now,
once you apply online, you will receive a
call from the state within three days. You
no longer have to call the state to complete
your application for unemployment
We also know many of our small
businesses are frustrated by the delays
with the Paycheck Protection Program.
Congress recently reached a deal with
the Trump administration this week to
add an additional $300 million to the
program. While many of the problems
with PPP were not addressed, including
a defi cit of funding for minority-owned
businesses, this should free up lenders to
begin distributing loans again.
I’m not one to sugarcoat. Things are
very hard, and Congress has not done
nearly enough. But I’m also not one to
stop fi ghting. Just two years ago, I was a
bartender. My family lived on the precipice
of economic ruin aft er my father died
. I know personally the devastation many
of you are facing. Please know that I will
continue to fi ght every day to get you the
relief you deserve.
ATTENTION HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS!
As the coronavirus epidemic rages on across New York City,
we want to hear from the health care workers on the front
lives battling to save lives.
Our reporters want to speak with health care workers about
what they’ve witnessed in emergency rooms, medical centers,
nursing homes and other facilities where lives hang in the balance
every day. We want to tell their stories to show New York City
their courage but also the severity of the conditions they work
in — and the situation they face.
We welcome submissions at any time from active New York City
physicians, nurses, lab technicians and other health care workers
who are helping to treat patients.
Email your information to Editor-in-Chief Zach Gewelb, and a
reporter may contact you soon.
Your information will be held confidentially; your name will
be used only with your express permission, or withheld upon
By submitting, you understand that the content must not be false,
defamatory, misleading or hateful, or infringe any copyright or any
other third party rights or otherwise be unlawful.
If we publish your content, we may include your name and
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
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What Congress must do to help those
affected by the coronavirus crisis