Michael Blake’s Statement on April Jobs Report

After the U.S. Department of Labor released the latest devastating jobs and unemployment numbers, candidate for Congress in NY-15 and New York State Assembly Member Michael Blake released the following statement:

Today’s jobs report is utterly devastating: 20.5 million jobs were lost last month, and the unemployment rate has risen to 14.7%. Americans are hurting. These are not just numbers—they’re human beings with families who now are struggling to put food on the table.

The consequences of this pandemic have permeated every industry and reached every household in The Bronx and across the country. Those consequences will affect us for many years to come. While assigning blame for the COVID-19 pandemic is neither possible nor productive, we need to remind ourselves that many of the catastrophic effects of the pandemic could largely have been avoided if we had a competent executive in the White House.

Simply put, the Trump presidency—including the complete disregard for pandemic preparation—has been disastrous for The Bronx and America.  Trump initially called the virus a hoax, has promoted dangerous and unproven “treatment” methods, mocked New York officials, and recklessly emboldened protesters who claimed to be “liberating” their states but were in fact putting their compatriots in danger. In my own experience, it has been devastating to go around Fordham Road or walk down Third Avenue and see closed store after closed store.

Fortunately, our partnership with World Central Kitchen and HERE TO HERE has allowed several Bronx restaurants to re-hire many of their employees. In addition, our collaboration with the Third Avenue Business Improvement District, Spring Bank, Operation HOPE and investor Nathalie Molina Niño has helped provide support to local entrepreneurs who otherwise may be completely on their own. I’ll continue to do the work that my community needs in order to weather the storm of this pandemic, but I implore my federal counterparts to act swiftly following these latest jobs numbers, with a sense of gravity, purpose and survival for our businesses, especially those owned by women and people of color in The Bronx.