Deputy Mayor Perea-Henze, Commissioner Mostofi Deliver Remarks To Demonstrate Support For Asian-American Small Businesses
Deputy Mayor Raul Perea-Henze, Health and Human Services: Thank you, Tom. Good afternoon. I will have the distinct honor to be the voice for my boss, Mayor de Blasio, who I hope – as a doctor, I can say he is now eating his soup with Mr. Tu and the rest of our commissioners here with you all to assure you of what we believe is the best part of our city. We don’t deal with issues that are not facts. But let me first start, thanking Tom and Mr. Peter Tu, Council Member Koo, for being here with us. And the whole purpose is to reassure all of you, and the City of New York, that the City is prepared.
So far we’ve been very lucky. We’ve had only about six cases that needed to be tested and all of them came out negative. We also had, in our care, a Westchester resident who went back to Westchester, but who also turned out to be negative. So, right now, we are fully prepared for any case that may come our way. Last week the Mayor announced a plan to save our city. This is a crucial part of that by trying to save our small businesses. As Tom mentioned we are very mindful of the decrease of traffic in small businesses particularly here in Flushing and we want to reassure everyone that New Yorkers should go about their everyday business as usual.
As our Health Commissioner, Dr. Barbot, likes to remind us every day, just use normal precautions. Wash your hands and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. And if you’ve been to China in the last 14 days and you’re feeling ill or you have any symptoms of fever, please go to your doctor and make sure that you get care. We know that the transmission – it’s only so far understood by long-term contact. So you should not be afraid of going about your lives in a regular way.
I think the message should be very clear. New Yorkers, continue their lives until anything changes. So let me now just add, I’m looking forward to the dim sum. I’ve seen all of the carts and all of you really enjoying this. And I’m going to turn it over back to Tom for some remarks and we’ll be back for questions and answers.
Commissioner Bitta Mostofi, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs: Thank you. Thank you so much to Tom and to Peter and to everybody for welcoming us here today. How are you guys feeling? This is a celebration. This is a celebratory lunch, right? We’re coming off the heels of celebrating the Lunar New Year for our communities. We are recognizing that in a moment in time in which there might be concerns or fear around the coronavirus, you heard here today we have no confirmed reports of the coronavirus here in our city, and that is because each and every one of us has made sure that the people amongst us know that there is nothing to be concerned about. That as normal, if you are feeling unwell, if you are not sure if you are feeling sick, we have this incredible public health system in our city that regardless of when you came from, what language you speak, or your immigration status, you can seek help today. And we want each and every one of you to please share that message that we are completely open and willing and welcoming to help anybody that’s feeling ill, but we also know that there is no cause for alarm – that we want people to celebrate coming off the New Year.
We want people to enjoy their lives and go about their daily business and to know that it is safe to do so and we need each and every one of you to share that message with your family, with your neighbors, with your communities because you are what makes our city incredible. You are what makes our city great. You have all of us today. You have our incredible Mayor, our Speaker, our Commissioners, the Asian-American Federation, Peter Tu, and so many other leaders here with you today, standing with you so that we can together send a very loud and clear message that this is a city for everyone. That in a moment in time where people might be concerned, having each other’s back, standing next to each other, making sure that no one amongst us is feeling stigma or discrimination and ensuring that everybody has good information and access to the support that they need without fear. That’s all of our jobs. That’s why we’re here today. We are so happy to be amongst you to celebrate that and to ensure that all of you can enjoy your lives.
And we ask all New Yorkers, make sure we’re continuing to celebrate in what makes our city amazing. We can’t give up the incredible food, the incredible culture, the arts and everything that our Chinese communities have to offer and we have to step up and demonstrate that every single day and combat any fear, misinformation, or paranoia that must be amongst us. I’m so honored to be amongst you today. This is one of my favorite communities. We were here just back here recently celebrating IDNYC, this is the place where we started it, and that truly is a symbol of what this city is. It’s for everyone, it is open to everybody, and we’re here to serve everybody and care for each other. So, thank you everyone for being here and let’s get that message out to the people that we love.