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De Blasio to Trump: 'Are you telling New York City to drop dead?'

War of words between Mayor de Blasio, President Trump
Posted at 12:46 PM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 12:52:05-04

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio lambasted President Donald Trump on Sunday, criticizing the native New Yorker for not supporting his hometown during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The mayor accused Trump of not stepping up to help his fellow New Yorkers during a news conference on the virus outbreak, which has killed over 8,000 New York City residents.

"When New York City is in need, where are you?" de Blasio said. "Are you going to save New York City or are you telling New York City to drop dead? Which one is it?"

The question evokes a New York Daily News headline from 1975, “Ford to City: Drop Dead,” which was published after then-President Gerald Ford denied financial assistance to spare New York City from bankruptcy.

The mayor called on Trump to speak up in favor of including financial assistance to city and state governments in the next federal coronavirus stimulus legislation.

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives as well as Senate Democrats support the funding, de Blasio said, but Senate Republicans are blocking the aid.

“If we’ve lost billions upon billions of dollars, how on earth are we going to support and protect our people?” the mayor said. “How are we ever going to restart the economy if we’re billions of dollars in the hole?”

De Blasio said just as he asked New Yorkers to step up during this crisis, he expects the same from the president, who should tell Senate Republicans to support the measure.

“Literally, with the snap of his fingers Donald Trump could fix that. If he would just say the word the Senate would jump. But the president has been silent,” de Blasio said. “President Trump it’s as simple as this: This is a moment where you can actually help to save your hometown or you can turn away and you can fail to protect New Yorkers."

The president has not publicly responded to the comments, as of Sunday afternoon.