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Meng Calls for NYC Schools to Close to Help Fight Coronavirus

Mar 15, 2020
Press Release
QUEENS, NY – Today, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) issued the following statement calling for New York City schools to close due to the coronavirus outbreak.
 
“In an effort to help combat the coronavirus, I have come to the conclusion that New York City must temporarily close its schools. The time has come for this to happen. This is not an easy position to take and I am fully aware of the complexities of closing our schools. As the mother of two young boys who attend local public schools in Queens, I know firsthand the difficult challenges and decisions that this would pose for many parents, as well as the possible ripple effects it stands to have throughout the region. But we must do everything possible to protect the health and safety of our children and those who work in our schools. They – and those they come in contact with – must not continue to be put at risk. Closing city schools would be the right and responsible thing to do.
 
City officials should make whatever arrangements necessary to ensure that kids can still receive their meals and other essential services, and also look at a plan for childcare.
 
On Friday, I, along with Senator Booker, called on President Trump to increase the availability of mobile hotspots to help students complete their schoolwork during the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically urging him to spend at least $1 billion in emergency declaration funds for this purpose. Increasing mobile hotspots would provide broadband to students who lack access to the internet, enabling them to participate in any virtual classroom or online learning environment that is offered during the crisis.
 
As we continue to fight against this outbreak, I ask all of my constituents – and all New Yorkers – to please stay safe, and listen to the advice of our health professionals.”