Westchester County Executive George Latimer, when asked by the Business Journal for his reaction to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s comments that the city could be shut down in a matter of a day or two, said that if the decision is made to move to a “shelter in place” scenario, it will be a regional decision, not just for New York City.
“If there is a shutdown, a curfew or what northern California has done, a shelter-in-place … if that decision happens it will be done on a large regional basis and I think it makes sense for us to let that decision be made between the governors of the various states and if it does happen it will be on the largest possible level,” Latimer said.
“What you don’t want is Westchester County doing one thing, New York City doing another thing. It’s like the worst example of bar closing times, when community A has a two o’clock, community B has a four o’clock, and then you have travel across the border. So I think it makes sense for this to be done broadly. Ultimately, if we have to stop this contagion this may have to be a national decision.”
The Business Journal had an opportunity to question Latimer during an appearance he made on March 19 in Elmsford.
“If we can get through this situation with a minimal loss of life then our economy can rebound from this,” Latimer said. “I think we’re still no the front end of the bell curve and hopefully the bell curve won’t go way up and we’ll see the kind of fatalities we’ve seen in Italy.”
Latimer said that the federal government needs to keep in mind the needs of small businesses that have been hurt by forced closings in the COVID-19 crisis. He said that revitalizing the economy need to be a team effort.
“I hope that stimulus will find its way to small businesses and individuals because those individuals are worried about how they’re going to pay their rent, or mortgage payment,” Latimer said. “Those small businesses that have laid people off, they can go a certain amount of time before they lose the totality of their business and they need to see some of that stimulus money as well.”