The United States now has the most corona cases worldwide. The Queens neighborhood of New York, where President Trump is from, was the hardest hit. Due to poverty and a lack of health insurance, the virus spreads very quickly.
“The scenes we first saw in Italy and Spain are now seen here in our own neighborhood,” says Francisco Moya. He is a city councilor for the worst-hit district in New York, which also includes Elmhurst Hospital. He is impressed by what he sees under his eyes. “If New York is now the epicenter of the outbreak, Elmhurst Hospital is ground zero.”
Refrigerated trucks have been hit
“For someone born and raised in this neighborhood, it is alarming to see the fear going through the neighborhood. People are calling to ask if they can safely put their trash outside,” Moya says. In the past 8 years, nine hospitals in this district have been closed. The Elmhurst hospital is the only one left standing. And that hospital has been flooded with corona patients for a few days.
The intensive care unit is bulging and there is a constant shortage of respiratory equipment. Refrigerated trucks have been pushed for the remains of the deceased. Moya was born in Elmhurst hospital himself and worked here before entering politics.
In total, there are now 142,793 known coronation cases in the United States. Nearly 35,000 of them are from New York, 1,000 of whom have since died. A third of those infected come from the Queens district. That district now has 10,000 confirmed corona cases.
‘Rows of people trying to get tested’
He is shocked by the despair he hears in the stories of his friends who still work in the hospital. “There are huge lines of people who want to be tested for the hospital. Those are really bleak scenes.”
Moya now speaks daily with the hospital director and tries to do what he can to arrange mouth masks and respirators. “We must give the heroic doctors and nurses what they need to win this battle.”
“People here can’t work from home”
Moya is not surprised that Queens is the neighborhood in New York where the health system is now the most overloaded. “I represent the most multicultural district in the whole country. Many people live here who do not have health insurance. They do not have the luxury of working from home. They deliver the food and man the supermarkets. There are people here who have ‘ Five of them live in a one-room apartment. Most of them cannot work from home. You can see how fast the spread will be. “
Due to the lack of health insurance, according to Moya, a lot of care is avoided in Queens. “Most immigrants only go to the emergency room when they are already in critical condition, due to the lack of access to health care.”
The Queens councilor wrote a letter to President Trump. “He always claims that he is a ‘Queens boy’. So I invited him to come here and see what happens in the neighborhood where he was born. Then I want to ask him again if he has any doubts that we need 30,000 extra ventilators. People are dying here every day. We can’t wait any longer. “
The past few days, President Trump and Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York State, have fought each other several times over the crisis. Cuomo asked for 30,000 fans to be delivered within 3 weeks.
“We haven’t seen the worst yet”
But President Trump was not tolerant at first and questioned whether so many respirators were needed in an interview with Fox News.
Moya is not very optimistic about what the district will look like in the coming weeks. “We haven’t seen the worst. We always thought things like this wouldn’t happen to us. But it does happen to us.”