Three livid bystanders heckled Mayor Bill de Blasio — demanding coronavirus tests and better healthcare — as he tried to speak to medical personnel outside Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx Wednesday.
“Yo, de Blasio; I need a test, de Blasio!,” shouted a young man from behind a fence outside Lincoln Hospital, about 40 feet from where the mayor was thanking members of the US Air Force, who were deployed to the public hospital to help treat coronavirus patients.
“I need a test brother. Some people right here need a test. Where they at? Seriously I see you addressing these people what about these homeless right here,” the man yelled, pointing to a crowd outside the hospital.
“All these people right here are sick. Ain’t nobody addressing them,” he screamed.
The group was furious about the dramatic shortage of tests in New York City, a problem plaguing communities across the country — and one that experts chalk up to a series of missteps made by federal officials during the early days of the pandemic.
The coronavirus has hit Bronxites hard with residents of Gotham’s poorest borough dying at twice the rate of the rest of the city, according to an analysis by The City, a non-profit investigative news organization in New York.
“Come down the block de Blasio, come,” a second, female bystander shouted.
“Get us more testing for the Bronx, people are dying,” she said. “We need more help in the hood,” she pleaded, brushing off a hospital security guard who tried to quiet her down.
A third person chimed in with a desperate cry for help.
“People are so sick of what’s going on they want to kill themselves,” the individual, an older man, yelled.
“They refuse to help you. They release you from the hospital,” he said.
Wiley Norvell, the mayor’s communications director, approached the female heckler and tried to calm her down.
“You don’t live here. You don’t know what it’s like,” the woman shot back.
After several minutes, members of the mayor’s NYPD security detail escorted two of the hecklers inside the hospital, where De Blasio later met with the pair for half an hour.
“They had a very productive conversation where they discussed ideas about how to better involve the community and educate people on life-saving practices like social distancing,” City Hall press secretary Freddi Goldstein told The Post afterward.
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