When asked Wednesday about the economic and emotional tolls many New Yorkers are facing as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo said that although the lockdown is difficult for residents, it’s their “responsibility” to comply in order to save lives.
Although he recognized that there are issues from the current social distancing measures such as a rise in domestic violence, emotional stress, and increased economic anxiety, Cuomo said it’s “very bad,” but “not death.”
In extended Q&A, Gov. Cuomo says he understands economic hardship of those out of a job, but warns recklessly returning to work could endanger others' lives.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 22, 2020
“Economic hardship, yes, very bad, not death. Emotional stress from being locked in a house very bad, not death,” Cuomo said. “Domestic violence on the increase, very bad, not death, and not death of someone else. See, that’s what we have to factor into this equation. Yeah, it’s your life, do whatever you want, but you’re not responsible for my life.”
He added, “You have a responsibility to me. It’s not just about you. You have a responsibility to me, right. We started here saying it’s not about me, it’s about we. Get your head around the we concept, so it’s not all about you. It’s about me too. It’s about we.”
There are many people, however, dying as a result of the unprecedented controls including the victims of economic hardships and rising domestic abuse. Calls to suicide and domestic violence hotlines, to name one example, have spiked in the last month.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline receives an average of 1800-2000 calls per day, however, with so many people staying at home there has been an increase and 3,829 of the victims calling over the last month have cited COVID-19 as leverage for their abuser, according to a statement provided to SaraACarter.com from the group’s CEO Katie Ray-Jones.
“Because we expect that people are spending more time at home, possibly not leaving the home for work each day, for example, we know survivors are spending more time in closer proximity to their abusers. This is stressful for everyone, but especially for survivors,” Ray-Jones said.
The mental health impact of this pandemic is very real.
New York is here to help.
Get free emotional support, consultation, and referral to a provider.
Call the State's Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314
— Archive: Governor Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 1, 2020
Earlier seeing the need for mental health care, Cuomo asked state mental health professionals to provide free care recognizing that “the mental health impact of this pandemic is very real.”
Now, his solution for at least those lacking an income is to seek work in “essential” fields.
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CA to provide all low-income illegal immigrants health care at a cost of ‘$2.7 billion a year’
On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion operating budget “that pledges to make all low-income adults eligible for the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 regardless of their immigration status” reports the Associated Press.
The guarantee of free health care for low-income immigrants here illegally, is a “move that will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at an eventual cost of about $2.7 billion a year” adds the AP.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, people living in the country illegally in 2020 accounted for roughly 7% of the population nationwide, or about 22.1 million people. The border crisis and number of migrants entering the United States illegally has skyrocketed to historic levels since 2020 when President Joe Biden took office.
Medicaid nationwide is the current combination of federal and state governments assisting Americans and low-income adults and children to receive free health care, but the federal government does not cover those living here illegally.
“Some states, including California, have used their own tax dollars to cover a portion of health care expenses for some low-income immigrants” reports the AP. “Now, California wants to be the first to do that for everyone.”
“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.”
While 92% of Californians currently have some form of health insurance, “that will change once this budget is fully implemented, as adults living in the country illegally make up one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state” the AP concludes.
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