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NY lawmakers respond to state, federal coronavirus actions

Washington DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Members of New York’s congressional delegation offered their take Wednesday on President Donald Trump’s and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think they’ve failed miserably,” said Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Gillibrand said the Trump administration needs to do more to handle the pandemic.

“We’re all going to do our part now to make sure we have the right solutions,” she said. “I think passing mandatory sick leave is the best thing President Trump can do.”

Gillibrand is working on legislation to guarantee paid sick leave which she said will help slow the virus’ spread.

“The people who are working in schools, the people who are helping our seniors at senior centers, they’re some of the lowest paid people in our country. They might not have sick days,” she added.

But New York Republican Congressman Tom Reed says this isn’t the right time to tackle that issue.

“We can’t just do it for a virus,” he said. “We have to look at a longer-term picture.”

Republicans and Democrats did agree on the need for increased testing.

“Until we have testing, I think leaders in different states and different communities will choose to shut down school districts, will choose to cancel large gatherings, and I think that’s appropriate,” Gillibrand said.

With New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo establishing a containment around New Rochelle, Reed worries this type of response may make things worse.

“The more we have these cancelations, these containments, putting armed guards into communities, that just escalates the fear,” he explained.

The best approach, according to Reed, is one that is “cool, calm, and collected.”

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