On Friday, New York commemorates the attacks of September 11, 2001, and is floundering with a deep crisis, with the high crime rate, the spread of homeless people, and the emptiness of apartments and shops, which constitute a major bet in the ongoing political battle with the approaching US presidential elections.
Despite the pandemic, the major American cities hold their annual ceremonies to commemorate the nearly three thousand people who died in the attacks that claimed the largest number of lives in history, while observing a minute of silence on the dates when the hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers.
Instead of taking the floor, the families of the victims recorded their interventions. However, its members can be present with the wearing of masks and social distancing at the monument on the “Ground Zero” site, which will open its doors for the first time since March.
With the passage of 19 years after the attacks, September 11 remains synonymous with the New Yorkers’ Championship, in which officials stress that the “steadfastness” of the city’s people, a month ago, reduced the rate of transmission of the virus to less than 1%. The new Coronavirus has killed more than 23,000 people in New York.
But everyone stresses, as New York State Governor Andrew Como did on Tuesday, that this “resilience” has become subject to great pressure due to the “side effects” of the pandemic on the economic and social levels.
Manhattan Mayor Gail Brewer says the island, a symbol of New York’s vitality, is overwhelmed by multiple problems.
Some of these problems stem directly from the new Coronavirus, as the majority of major banks, insurance companies, and other institutions that rely on office jobs, moved to remote work in March and maintained this approach, emptying business districts and killing thousands of small restaurants that used to provide food for their employees. At noon.
Boris Tolchinsky, a 26-year-old IT engineer, says he misses Manhattan but, like many of his colleagues, intends to “continue working from his home” in neighboring New Jersey state until July 2021.
New York lost more than 60 million tourists annually, while some of its people also deserted it. At least 35,000 people have left Manhattan, based on mail-in voting requests for the presidential election, Gayle Brewer said.
Many stores have closed. Between 2017 and 2020 the number of empty stores nearly doubled an increase of 78%, according to Brewer as well.
The homeless can now be seen in greater numbers with the closure of many shelters and the transfer of about 13,000 of them to empty hotels in Manhattan.
The rise in homicides and shootings (47% and 166%, respectively, compared to August 2019) is one of the striking features of the crisis in New York. The city is still far from the crime rates recorded in it in the seventies and eighties, but New York, which was considered one of the safest cities in the world, has returned to the crime rates that were recorded in the year 2012, according to what the “New York Times” reported.
“I cannot count the number of calls I receive from New Yorkers who are worried about the decline of their city,” Cuomo said Tuesday.
But all officials in New York say they are confident that the city will return to the right track. But how long will that take?
It could take three years, Brewer said, citing property contractors, as the city posts first signs of recovery, with museums reopening since the end of August and restaurant halls at the end of September.
And two months before the US presidential elections, this crisis became a point of contention with the Donald Trump administration.
The Republican President stresses repeatedly that the high crime rate in this democratic stronghold and his birthplace came as a result of the incompetence and laxity of the elected officials there. He accused the mayor and governor of New York on Tuesday of “destroying” the city.
As for New York officials, they denounce the refusal of Trump and the Republicans to allocate billions of dollars to New York and other democratic cities, to offset their huge losses in tax revenues.