Mayor Calls White House Approach to Pandemic “Short Sighted” and “Unacceptable”

Written by on March 24, 2020

For immediate release: March 24, 2020 Published by: Office of Domestic Violence StrategiesBoard of HealthManaging Director’s OfficeDepartment of Public HealthOffice of Community Empowerment and OpportunityOffice of the MayorOffice of Emergency Management | Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications 

Mayor Kenney today voiced dismay at federal inaction on aid to cities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and criticized the President’s questioning of the necessity of stay-at-home orders imposed by municipalities like Philadelphia.

“This is unacceptable,” said the Mayor of the President’s comments. “We recognize that our Stay at Home order will create serious disruptions and economic hardships for tens of thousands of people. But our Health Department and other experts are absolutely certain that ignoring the restrictions will further the spread of this virus. To lift restrictions at this time is the ultimate example of short-sightedness. While doing so may help some businesses stay afloat, the cost in lives and the cost to society will be far greater.”

The Mayor also lamented the lack of action in Congress on COVID-19 response aid, including the request from 303 mayors across the nation for $250 billion in direct aid to cities like Philadelphia. “We know there are many individuals in federal agencies who are working tirelessly with our team to get us the information and resources we need,” said the Mayor. “But leadership has been lacking.”

Health Department Update: Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley today announced 77 additional presumptive confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 252, 25 of whom are health care workers. 23 of the confirmed cases are known to be hospitalized.

Health and Human Services: Eva Gladstein, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, today detailed resources that are available for Philadelphians struggling amid the pandemic. “We are focused on supporting those among us who are most vulnerable,” said Gladstein. “We hope that residents know of, and make use of, these valuable resources.”

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