De Blasio: Only hope is federal government 'wakes up and realizes we are in a war'

De Blasio: Only hope is federal government 'wakes up and realizes we are in a war'
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New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioLawyer who inspired ABC's 'For Life' to run for mayor of New York Rockefeller Center Christmas tree viewing limited to 5 minutes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spread MORE (D) said Sunday the federal government needs to take control of the supply chain of medical supplies in order to help localities mitigate the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

"We cannot control the supply chain, we cannot control the foundation of where our medical supplies and equipment come from," de Blasio said on CNN's "State of the Union." "The only hope is the federal government actually wakes up and realizes we are in a war and take over the situation and determines how we can actually get through this."


De Blasio said he called for federal government support to support New York City for localized testing on Jan. 24, adding that local officials didn't get the ability for testing until two weeks ago. 

"We're playing a huge game of catch up in this country," de Blasio said. "Let me say it very bluntly, the federal government at least in the last few days have started to come alive and do something but we are so far behind." 

The mayor said the Trump administration needs to take over control of the supply chain in order to get medical equipment, including ventilators, masks and hand sanitizer, to the places in the country that need them. 

Factories should be put on 24/7 shifts and those goods should be distributed to areas that need them most, "as we would in war time," de Blasio said.  

"If the federal government doesn't realize this is the equivalent of a war already, there is no way the states and localities can make all the adjustments we need to," he added. "We are all on our own in so many ways." 


The virus is quickly spreading across the densely packed city, de Blasio said, adding that there were 25 confirmed cases last Monday and the number jumped to 269 by Sunday morning. 

He expects at least 1,000 cases "not too far" into next week. 

Asked if he is considering putting the city on a lockdown or shutting down bars and restaurants, de Blasio said "every option is on the table." 

"Let's be clear, this is a crisis that will be with us I believe at least six months," he said, adding that the outbreak is unlike anything the nation has dealt with before. 

De Blasio also said city officials are continually evaluating whether to close schools, something that has not yet happened. 

"My fear is if the schools shut down, they will done for the school year, maybe even the calendar year," he said. 

Concerns over shutting the schools include finding alternative ways to get food to students who receive meals there, he said. 

The city is setting up contingency plans if schools need to be set down, but de Blasio said the contingency scenarios will not be as good as when the city has a functioning school system.