NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed his appreciation for Carmel's assistance in his city's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
During an address Friday, de Blasio thanked Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard after the Hamilton County city, along with Apex Medical, Zak Khan and Aria Dignostics, announced it will send 50,000 coronavirus test kits to New York City, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States.
"This man has been mayor a long time in Carmel, Ind," de Blasio said. "He's someone I respect greatly for way's achieved. I've been to his city. In the spirit of bipartisanship, I will let you know that he is a Republican and someone would as we talk together, our partisan differences melt away all the time."
De Blasio said he became acquainted with Brainard through the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
"Now Carmel, Ind. steps up, and they're sending us some of the components that will be needed to provide 50,000 coronavirus tests for New Yorkers," de Blasio said. "That will be coming over the next few weeks. We're going to need other components to make it work. We talked about it yesterday, using the analogy of making a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. We're going to need all the pieces. With the other pieces in place we'll be able to reach 50,000 New Yorkers."
On Thursday, Vipin Adhlakha, co-founder of Apex Medical, said the donation plans will not affect local testing and he plans to send 50,000 to New York City and keep 50,000 for local testing.
Brainard said reducing outbreaks through widespread testing will help give health care workers time to better prepare during the outbreak and that Carmel is determined to do what it can to help.
“We must be able to look back on this moment in time and know that we did all we could to help fight the battle against this historic and deadly virus,” Brainard said in a news release. “Countries that have tested widely have seen more success with leveling the curve and reducing number of people catching the virus because they are able to quarantine those who test positive. They are able to determine if the virus exists in someone even though they may not be symptomatic before testing.”
More than 5,800 people are confirmed to have died from COVID-19 in New York City, according to a map on the website of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
"Jim and everyone in Carmel, I want to thank you. It is wonderful to see the support from the Heartland of our country," de Blasio said. "You are doing something really important for New York City. We're all feeling it, especially at this holiday season. We are so appreciative for your wonderful, kind gesture."