New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Tuesday offered to send National Guard troops into New York City to collect mounting piles of garbage.
FOX 5 reports:
The economic fallout from the pandemic resulted in a $25 million cut from the Sanitation Department’s budget in July. That meant a 60% reduction in pickups of public trash baskets. Baskets were being emptied every day pre-pandemic, now that may happen only three times a week.
Last month, former NYC Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, who resigned to launch a mayoral bid, said the Sanitation Department had to cut back services amid the budget crunch.
“Garbage piling up, literally, people saying there is an odiferous environment because of the garbage piling up,” Cuomo said in a press conference. “I don’t know what’s going on in New York City. If they can’t do it, I have offered to send in the National Guard to help pick up the garbage. The state can bring in trucks, personnel and clean up the city. I think that would be important. This is a public health pandemic. Cleanliness matters. We made millions of gallons of hand sanitizer, right? Cleanliness matters.”
Cuomo’s remarks come after he said that he may send National Guard troops to polling locations on Election Day to ensure voters are able to cast in-person ballots.
“We said to them, ‘Learn from that experience, tell us what you need,’” he said earlier this month. “We can use National Guard personnel to help.”
Cuomo’s comments came amid criticism directed at the New York governor for refusing to deploy the National Guard to combat civil unrest and riots sparked by the death of George Floyd.
“We’ll send you the National Guard if you want. You have the largest police force in the country, 40,000 people, I understand, but what’s going on in New York is terrible, it’s terrible, of all the places,” the president told Cuomo during a conference call in June.
Cuomo recently lashed out at President Trump for signing off on a memo directing his administration to review potential funding cuts to New York City and other cities plagued by violence, saying: “He better have an army if he thinks he’s gonna walk down the street in New York. New Yorkers don’t want to have anything to do with him.”