De Blasio Advocates ‘Nationalization’ of Key Industries Amid Pandemic

By Victor Westerkamp

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) reiterated on several occasions over the weekend that key industries should in his view be nationalized to cope with the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.

“This is a case for a nationalization, literally a nationalization of crucial factories and industries that could produce the medical supplies to prepare this country for what we need. People are going crazy trying to get hand sanitizer,” de Blasio told MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Saturday morning, Fox News reported.

De Blasio appeared on Reid’s show to discuss or to vent his frustration over the way the Trump administration had handled the coronavirus emergency so far. “Here’s reality: This is a war-like situation,” de Blasio said. “We’re in a wartime scenario with a Mar-a-Lago attitude being used by the federal government.”

De Blasio specifically mentioned strategic products like ventilators, surgical masks, and hand sanitizers that should be produced by the nationalized companies for “24/7 shifts.” He also called it a “war-like situation.”

The next day, he said on CNN, “the federal government needs to take over the supply chain right now.”

New York City has taken drastic measures to prevent the coronavirus outbreak from spreading further like closing down schools and forced many restaurants to restrict themselves to provide take away and eat out services only.

De Blasio said he expected the coronavirus crisis to last for at least six months.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to the media and tours a newly opened drive-through COVID-19 mobile testing center in New Rochelle, N.Y., on March 13, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York state has taken similar steps to meet the increased demand for sanitizers. According to the Daily Caller, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a March 9 press conference:

“We’ll be providing this to governmental agencies, schools, the MTA, prisons, etc. because you can’t get it on the market, and when you get it, it’s very, very expensive.”

New York state has registered 5,365 infected patients as of March 20—more than any other state. New York City has 3,615 confirmed cases.

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A worker wears a face mask as he stands at the entrance to the Brooklyn Hospital Center emergency room in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on March 16, 2020. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

The other effort is setting up temporary hospital facilities, Cuomo said, with the help of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.

De Blasio told reporters on March 16 that he wants to add about 8,200 hospital beds by converting buildings, including unused buildings owned by the city, into medical facilities.

“We are going to need massive medical capacity on a scale we have never seen in New York City before,” de Blasio said.

“We are going to be constantly building out medical facilities and creating them where they have never existed before and retrofitting facilities that have nothing to do with health care.

“We will turn them into hospitals as long as we can get the equipment and personnel. We will keep building our capacity to meet the demand.”

Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.