MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: April 2, 2020

NY AREAS ‘RACING TO BE PREPARED’ FOR PEAK OUTBREAK, THE TRUCKER’S SUPPLY CHAIN

AIRED: April 02, 2020 | 0:29:00
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

WE'RE WORKING FROM HOME, BUT

WE'RE DEDICATED TO BRINGING YOU

THE IMPORTANT STORIES ABOUT HOW

OUR AREA IS AFFECTED BY

CORONAVIRUS.

>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,

ROSALIND P. WALTER,

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,

AND BY --

>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO

"METROFOCUS."

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

IN ONE OF HIS MOST SOBERING

ASSESSMENTS YET, PRESIDENT TRUMP

IS WARNING AMERICANS TO BRACE

THEMSELVES FOR SOME TOUGH WEEKS

AHEAD AS THE GOVERNMENT PREDICTS

THAT COVID-19 COULD KILL BETWEEN

100 AND 240,000 PEOPLE ACROSS

THE COUNTRY.

IN LONG ISLAND OFFICIALS ARE

PREPARING FOR A SURGE IN

CORONAVIRUS CASES THAT COULD

PUSH ALREADY STRAINED RESOURCES

TO THE BREAKING POINT.

JOINING US TO TALK ABOUT THOSE

PREPARATIONS AND THE CHALLENGES

AHEAD, SUFFOLK COUNTY EXECUTIVE

STEVEN BELLONE.

STEVE, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY.

>> THANK YOU, RAFAEL, GOOD TO BE

WITH YOU.

>> STEVE, LET ME START WITH

THIS.

HOW IS THE COVID-19 SITUATION IN

SUFFOLK COUNTY AS WE SPEAK AND

WE'RE TALKING ON THE EVENING OF

APRIL 1st.

>> APRIL IS A TIME OF OPTIMISM.

THE WARM MONTHS ARE COMING,

FLOWERS BLOOMING, PEOPLE

THINKING ABOUT GRADUATIONS AND

SUMMERTIME, ALL THE WONDERFUL

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT LONG

ISLAND, BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT

WE'RE THINKING ABOUT TODAY.

TODAY IS FAR DIFFERENT THAN

ANYTHING WE'VE EVER EXPERIENCED.

TODAY WE'RE THINKING ABOUT THE

FIGHT THAT IS AHEAD.

IT HAS BEEN CHARACTERIZED AS A

WAR.

I THINK THAT IS AN ACCURATE

DESCRIPTION.

IT IS A WAR, AND THE FIGHT IS

ABOUT TRYING TO SAVE LIVES.

HOW MANY LIVES CAN WE SAVE HERE.

EVERYBODY HAS A ROLE TO PLAY IN

THAT.

I THINK THAT'S VERY SIGNIFICANT.

THERE ARE PEOPLE ON THE FRONT

LINES OF THAT WAR, THE HEALTH

CARE WORKERS PARTICULARLY, WHO

ARE RIGHT NOW, AS WE SPEAK, ARE

WORKING TO SAVE PATIENTS' LIVES

DESPERATELY.

BUT EVERYBODY HAS A ROLE TO

PLAY.

THAT'S SOCIAL DISTANCING AND

FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES.

THAT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE WHEN

YOU DO THAT, YOU DEPRESS THE

CURVE AND YOU CAN HELP THOSE

HEALTH CARE WORKERS WHO ARE

WORKING RIGHT NOW.

BUT THIS IS -- WHAT WE'RE

LOOKING AT AS WE BEGIN APRIL IS

IN STARK CONTRAST TO WHERE WE

STARTED THE MONTH PRIOR.

MARCH 1st, LIFE WAS NORMAL HERE.

WE DIDN'T GET OUR FIRST CASE IN

SUFFOLK COUNTY UNTIL MARCH 8th.

WE DIDN'T REPORT OUR FIRST DEATH

IN SUFFOLK COUNTY UNTIL MARCH

16th.

APRIL 1st, I CONFIRMED TODAY WE

HAVE A TOTAL NOW OF 69 DEATHS,

25 IN THE LAST 48 HOURS.

THOSE NUMBERS JUST GIVE YOU A

SENSE OF THE TRAJECTORY OF THIS

THING, WHERE IT IS HEADED AND

WHY THINGS ARE GOING TO GET MUCH

TOUGHER BEFORE THEY CAN GET

BETTER.

BUT THAT IS THE THING.

WE ALL HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY IN

MAKING IT GET BETTER QUICKER.

>> WE'LL GET TO THAT IN ONE

SECOND.

HOW ARE YOUR HOSPITALS HOLDING

OUT?

DO YOU HAVE THE NUMBER OF

VENTILATORS AND PROTECTIVE GEAR

FOR THE HEALTH WORKERS ON THE

FRONT LINES THAT YOU THINK

YOU'LL NEED WHEN THE APEX OF THE

VIRUS COMES TO YOUR COUNTY?

>> NO, THEY DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH

SUPPLIES.

THEY DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH

VENTILATORS.

THAT HAS BEEN CLEAR.

THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN TALKING

ABOUT THIS EVERY DAY.

I'LL GO BACK TO THE WAR METAPHOR

THAT HAS BEEN USED.

AGAIN, I THINK THAT'S

APPROPRIATE.

I THINK THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT IS

HAPPENING HERE.

BUT WHEN YOU FIGHT A WAR, YOU

DON'T DO IT COUNTY BY COUNTY OR

EVEN STATE BY STATE.

YOU FIGHT A WAR AS A NATION, AND

WE NEED THAT NATIONAL EFFORT TO

MARSHAL THE RESOURCES, GET THE

SUPPLIES AND THE EQUIPMENT AND

THE STAFFING THAT IS NECESSARY

FOR FIGHTING THE BATTLE WHERE IT

IS HAPPENING NOW.

THAT IS IN NEW YORK.

IT IS ON LONG ISLAND.

QUITE FRANKLY, IT'S WONDERFUL

THAT FORD IS GOING TO BE MAKING

TENS OF THOUSANDS OF

VENTILATORS.

THAT'S GOING TO BE GREAT.

IT'S GOING TO HELP A LOT OF

PLACES, BUT IT'S NOT GOING TO

HELP NEW YORK.

WE NEED A NATIONAL EFFORT TO

BRING THE SUPPLIES AND THE

EQUIPMENT FROM OTHER PARTS OF

THE COUNTRY TO NEW YORK WHERE

IT'S NEEDED.

AND THE SAME THING WITH

STAFFING.

THE GOVERNOR PUT OUT A CALL FOR

MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS ACROSS THE

COUNTRY TO COME TO NEW YORK TO

WORK WITH US, AND NEW YORK WILL

RETURN THE FAVOR.

I WILL TELL YOU THIS, IF WE GET

HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS FROM

AROUND THE COUNTRY TO COME TO

LONG ISLAND, THEY WILL HELP SAVE

LIVES, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.

>> LET'S GO BACK TO THE POINT

WE'RE MAKING.

I'M HEARING THAT YOU DON'T THINK

THAT SUFFOLK COUNTY AS WELL AS

NEW YORK STATE AS A WHOLE IS

GETTING SUFFICIENT HELP FROM THE

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?

AM I RIGHT?

AM I HEARING RIGHT?

>> I THINK THE FEDERAL

GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO MARSHAL THE

SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT THAT

EXIST AROUND THE COUNTRY IN

THOSE AREAS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN

HARD HIT YET AND DELIVER THOSE

SUPPLIES TO NEW YORK.

I ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE THAT.

>> HOW ABOUT THE STATE?

THE STATE AND GOVERNOR CUOMO

GIVING YOU ALL THE ASSISTANCE

THAT YOU NEED TO THE DEGREE THAT

THEY HAVE IT?

>> I THINK THE GOVERNOR HAS DONE

AN INCREDIBLE JOB HERE.

I HONESTLY BELIEVE HE'S GIVING A

MASTER CLASS ON CRISIS

MANAGEMENT, THIS IS WHAT YOU'RE

SUPPOSED TO DO WHEN YOU LEAD,

IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM, BE

TRANSPARENT ABOUT IT AND DO

EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO MARSHAL

ALL THE RESOURCES TO FIGHT THAT

CHALLENGE, AND THAT'S EXACTLY

WHAT HE'S DOING.

WE'RE BASICALLY BUILDING ANOTHER

HOSPITAL HERE IN TERMS OF BED

CAPACITY.

AT STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY, THE

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, ALL THE

RESOURCES GOING INTO BUILDING

OUT THE HOSPITAL CAPACITY,

THAT'S BEEN TERRIFIC AND THE

GOVERNOR HAS BEEN LEADING THE

EFFORT.

WE'RE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO

SUPPORT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF

THE STATE'S BATTLE PLAN AND

WORKING WITH THE HOSPITALS TO

SUPPORT THEIR EXPANSION AND

EFFORTS AS WELL.

>> BY THE WAY, THE GOVERNOR NOW

BELIEVES THE SURGE WILL COME AT

THE END OF APRIL, APRIL 30th.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT'S MORE OR

LESS WHEN THE SURGE WILL COME TO

SUFFOLK COUNTY?

>> IT'S HARD TO TELL EXACTLY.

I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT WE'RE A

LITTLE BEHIND NEW YORK CITY,

MAYBE A WEEK, MAYBE TWO.

IT'S HARD TO SAY.

WHAT I CAN TELL YOU IS WE LOOK

AT THE NUMBERS EVERY DAY ON

HOSPITALIZATIONS, COVID-19

PATIENTS BEING HOSPITALIZED, AND

THOSE NUMBERS GO UP EVERY DAY.

WE'VE BEEN TRACKING OVER THE

LAST FOUR OR FIVE DAYS, ABOUT

100 NET INCREASE EVERY DAY.

OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS WE'VE

SEEN A JUMP OF ABOUT 200.

SO THE NUMBERS CONTINUE TO RISE.

>> SO WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES OR

CONCERNS ARE YOU FACING IN

SUFFOLK COUNTY DID YOU THINK

MIGHT BE A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN

WHAT THE REST OF THE STATE IS

FACING?

>> I THINK MANY OF THE

CHALLENGES ARE SIMILAR.

IT'S ABOUT EXPANDING THE

CAPACITY.

THE PHYSICAL SPACE, AS

CHALLENGING AS THAT IS, BUILDING

A NEW SYSTEM IN A WEEK'S TIME

ISN'T THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE.

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS GETTING

THE EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND

STAFFING THAT'S NECESSARY.

ONE OF THE CHALLENGES WE HAVE

FACED HERE IN SUFFOLK COUNTY IS

WE HAVE A LARGE IMMIGRANT

COMMUNITY, AND THIS IS ALWAYS A

DIFFICULT COMMUNICATE WITH

COMMUNITY.

WE'VE SEEN IN THOSE AREAS HIGHER

NUMBERS THAN ELSEWHERE.

SO WE'RE DOING A NUMBER OF

DIFFERENT THINGS TO TRY TO GET

THE MESSAGING ACROSS TO THAT

COMMUNITY, THAT SOMETIMES HAS

MORE DENSE POPULATION THAN OTHER

AREAS OF THE COUNTY AS WELL, SO

THAT CREATES ADDITIONAL

CHALLENGES.

SO WE'RE WORKING WITH THE

SUFFOLK COUNTY POLICE

DEPARTMENT, OUR SPANISH-SPEAKING

OFFICERS, TO GO INTO THOSE

COMMUNITIES, TO DEAL WITH

BUSINESSES DIRECTLY THERE AND

GIVE THE MESSAGING ABOUT STAYING

HOME, ISOLATING, WASHING HANDS,

ALL THE MESSAGING WE'VE BEEN

DELIVERING ACROSS THE COUNTY,

BUT REALLY TRYING TO HONE IN ON

THAT HARD-TO-REACH SEGMENT OF

THE POPULATION.

>> ARE THERE RESIDENTS FROM THE

NEW YORK METROPOLITAN AREA THAT

HAVE CHOSEN TO RIDE OUT THE

VIRUS IN PARTS OF YOUR COUNTY?

AND IF SO, HAS THAT BEEN A

PARTICULAR CHALLENGE?

>> IT HAS PRESENTED SOME

CHALLENGES, OF COURSE.

THEY'RE HOMEOWNERS HERE AND PART

OF OUR FAMILY AS WELL.

WE ENCOURAGE TO THE EXTENT

POSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO STAY

WHERE THEY ARE.

THE RESOURCES ON THE EAST END OR

ON FIRE ISLAND, FOR INSTANCE,

THEY'RE NOT THERE IN THE OFF

SEASON.

THE STAFFING IS NOT THERE.

THE RESOURCES -- I'LL GIVE YOU

AN EXAMPLE.

GROCERY STORES.

THE GROCERY STORES OUT THERE AND

SUPER MARKETS, THEY'VE STOCKED

THE SHELVES WITH A SUPPLY THAT'S

BASICALLY FOR THE END OF WINTER,

BEGINNING OF SPRING-TYPE

NUMBERS.

THEY ARE NOT STOCKING IT FOR THE

SEASON.

THEY CERTAINLY HAVEN'T STOCKED

IT FOR A GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

YOU'VE SEEN A LOT OF SHORTAGES

OUT THERE.

THAT'S JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF THE

CHALLENGES THAT THAT PRESENTS.

IN THE SUMMERTIME, THEY'RE

STAFFED UP AND READY, THEY'RE

RESOURCED.

THE SUPPLIES ARE THERE.

YOU KNOW IT.

IT'S EXPECTED.

MUCH MORE OF A CHALLENGE NOW.

THAT'S WHY WE'VE ENCOURAGED TO

THE EXTENT POSSIBLE PEOPLE TO

STAY IN PLACE WHERE THEY ARE AS

WE GO THROUGH THIS CRISIS

PERIOD.

>> YOU TOUCHED UPON THIS

EARLIER.

ARE RESIDENTS GENERALLY

FOLLOWING THE SOCIAL DISTANCING

GUIDELINES?

>> I THINK FOR THE MOST PART WE

HAVE SEEN MAJOR COMPLIANCE.

WE HAVE TO REMEMBER, THIS IS

SOMETHING THAT HAS TURNED

PEOPLE'S LIVES UPSIDE DOWN.

WE DID NOT EXPECT THIS TO

HAPPEN.

WE'VE NEVER BEEN THROUGH

ANYTHING LIKE THIS.

GIVEN ALL THAT, I WOULD SAY

RESIDENTS HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB

RESPONDING.

HAVING SAID THAT, THERE ARE A

NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT.

WE ARE OUT THERE ENFORCING,

SUFFOLK COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT

IS ENFORCING.

WE'VE CLOSED A VAPE SHOP, A

BEAUTY SALON.

WE'VE BROKEN UP A PARTY.

WE ARE OUT THERE COMMUNICATING.

OUR DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IS

COMMUNICATING WITH ESSENTIAL

BUSINESSES THAT MAY NOT BE

FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES

EXACTLY.

WE ARE ENFORCING.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE NEED PEOPLE

TO VOLUNTARILY COMPLY HERE

BECAUSE THEY UNDERSTAND THEIR

ACTIONS TODAY, TOMORROW AND IN

THE WEEK AHEAD WILL HAVE AN

IMPACT ON HOW MANY PEOPLE IN

THIS COUNTY ULTIMATELY DIE FROM

THIS DISEASE.

>> I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN AND MY

GUEST IS SUFFOLK COUNTY

EXECUTIVE STEVE BELLONE.

STEVE, HAVE YOU HAD ANY TIME TO

PONDER THE ECONOMIC FALLOUT OF

THIS VIRUS CATASTROPHE ON YOUR

COMMUNITY YET?

LET ME TAKE THIS MOMENT TO ASK

YOU WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE

THAT FALLOUT?

>> WE'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT

THIS FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.

OF COURSE, OUR FOCUS IS ON THE

PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS.

THAT IS PRIMARILY WHAT WE'RE

DOING DAY IN AND DAY OUT.

RIGHT FROM THE START WE'VE WRECK

NEEDED THIS IS NOT ONLY A PUBLIC

HEALTH CRISIS, IT'S IMMEDIATELY

FOLLOWED BY AN ECONOMIC CRISIS.

FOLLOWING THAT IS A HUMAN

SERVICES CRISIS.

ALL THOSE ARE ISSUES THAT ARE AT

THE CORE OF WHAT WE DO IN COUNTY

GOVERNMENT.

IT'S PUBLIC HEALTH, PUBLIC

SAFETY, IT'S HUMAN SERVICES.

SO WE'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT ALL

THESE ISSUES.

WE STOOD UP A BUSINESS RESPONSE

UNIT WITHIN DAYS OF OUR FIRST

CASE AND WHAT WE'VE DONE IS

REACH OUT TO ALL OF OUR BUSINESS

ASSOCIATIONS CHAMBERS OF

COMMERCE.

WE SET UP THE RESPONSE UNIT TO

TAKE CALLS IN OUR 311 SYSTEM.

BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN FILLING OUT

A SURVEY SO WE CAN GET THE DATA

WE NEED AND ASKING QUESTIONS.

WE'RE BUILDING THAT DATA TO

UNDERSTAND WHAT THE CHALLENGES

ARE AND WHAT THE NEEDS ARE.

IT'S A DESPERATE SITUATION OUT

THERE.

PEOPLE ARE AND BUSINESSES ARE

STRUGGLING.

WE NEED TO HELP THEM GET THROUGH

THIS CRISIS PERIOD.

>> ABOUT 15 SECONDS THAT WE HAVE

LEFT.

HOW HAS THIS BEEN FOR YOU

LEADING THIS COUNTY AT THIS

MOMENTOUS TIME IN HISTORY?

>> IT'S BEEN 24 HOURS A DAY,

SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

WE'RE USED TO DEALING WITH

CRISES.

THIS HAS BEEN DIFFERENT THAN ANY

OTHER -- MY DEPUTY COUNTY

EXECUTIVE WAS THE FIRST TO BE

CONFIRMED OF THE POSITIVE CASE

IN SUFFOLK COUNTY GOVERNMENT.

THEREFORE, OUR ENTIRE SENIOR

LEADERSHIP TEAM HAD TO BE

RUNNING THIS OPERATION VIRTUALLY

FOR TWO WEEKS.

THAT WAS A CHALLENGE.

BUT ALL OF US HAVE HAD TO DO

THINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN WE HAD

TO BEFORE.

WE HAD TO GET THE JOB DONE.

>> STEVE, SUFFOLK COUNTY

EXECUTIVE STEVEN BELLONE, THANK

YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY.

>> THANK YOU, RAFAEL.

GOOD TO BE WITH YOU.

>>> HEALTH CHANNEL PRESENTS

CORONAVIRUS IN REALTIME.

>> THE USE OF TELEMEDICINE IS

GROWING AS DOCTORS LOOK FOR WAYS

TO TREAT COVID PATIENTS AND

REDUCE EVERYONE'S EXPOSURE TO

THE VIRUS.

IN CHINA THERE HAVE BEEN ABOUT 2

MILLION CONSULTATIONS VIA

TELEMEDICINE TO DETERMINE IF A

PATIENT SHOULD GO TO THE

HOSPITAL OR BE TREATED REMOTELY.

IN THE U.S., THE GOVERNMENT HAS

TAKEN STEPS TO INCREASE ACCESS

TO TELEMEDICINE AS PART OF THE

COVID-19 FUNDING MEASURE.

WAIVING TELEHEALTH RESTRICTIONS

FOR MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES.

THAT MEANS THEY'LL PROVIDE

TELEHEALTH SERVICES TO THEIR

PATIENTS

UNTIL NOW, MOST MAJOR INSURANCE

COMPANIES ALSO LIMITED

TELEMEDICINE COVERAGE TO A SMALL

NUMBER OF PATIENTS, BUT MANY ARE

ALSO ADJUSTING COVERAGE.

>> FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT

ALLHEALTHTV.COM.

STAY TUNED TO THE HEALTH CHANNEL

FOR COVERAGE OF THIS SITUATION

IN REALTIME.

>>> HI.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN OF

"METROFOCUS."

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS

PRODUCED A LOT OF UNINTENDED

SIDE EFFECTS THAT ARE ONLY

CAUSING PEOPLE MORE STRESS AND

ANXIETY.

ONE OF THOSE IS THE SIGHT OF

EMPTY STORE SHELVES.

PANIC BUYING, ONE OF THE INITIAL

RESPONSES AROUND THE UNCERTAINTY

ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS WAS A

SHOCK NOT ONLY TO SHOPPERS, BUT

TO THE SUPPLY CHAIN AS WELL.

BUT THE CHAIN IS FAR FROM

BROKEN.

IT JUST NEEDED TIME TO ADJUST TO

OUR NEW LEVEL OF DEMANDMENT

JOINING ME NOW TO TALK ABOUT

THOSE ADJUSTMENTS IS KENDRA

HEMS, PRESIDENT OF THE TRUCKING

ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK.

KENDRA, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

>> JENNA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

HAVING ME.

>> THIS ENTIRE STORY REALLY CAME

ABOUT FROM THE FACT THAT I WAS

REACHING A POINT WHERE I WAS

ONLY SEEING TRUCKS ON THE

THROUGHWAY.

I WASN'T SEEING ANY OTHER CARS

REALLY, AND I REALIZED THAT

TRUCKERS ARE ONE OF THE MANY

UNSUNG HEROES OF THE SCRISIS

WE'RE ADJUSTING TO.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ADJUSTMENTS

ARE YOU SEEING?

>> WHEN IT STARTED WE WERE

SEEING THE EMPTY SHELVES, THE

PANIC BUYING, THE HOARDING.

BECAUSE OF THAT IT WAS MAKING

PEOPLE VERY NERVOUS THAT THERE

WAS A SHORTAGE, WHETHER IT WAS

TOILETRIES, CLEANING SUPPLIES OR

FOOD AND WATER, BUT THAT REALLY

WASN'T THE CASE.

THERE'S PLENTY OF FOOD IN THE

SUPPLY CHAIN.

PLENTY OF TOILETRIES IN THE

SUPPLY CHAIN.

THE DEMAND INCREASED

EXPONENTIALLY ALMOST OVERNIGHT.

SO THE TRUCKING COMPANIES AND

MANUFACTURERS JUST WEREN'T

PREPARED FOR THAT TO HAPPEN SO

QUICKLY.

WE JUST NEEDED TIME TO ADJUST.

THOSE SHELVES ARE GETTING

REFILLED.

I KNOW SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T SEEM

LIKE IT BECAUSE IF YOU GO TO THE

STORE IN THE AFTERNOON THE

SHELVES MIGHT BE EMPTY AGAIN.

THAT'S REALLY A RESULT OF THE

PANIC BUYING THAT YOU MENTIONED

AND NOT NECESSARILY BECAUSE

WE'RE NOT ABLE TO REFILM THOSE

SHELVES.

THEY ARE BEING RESTOCKED.

JUST AS QUICKLY AS THEY'RE

RESTOCKED, PEOPLE ARE COMING AND

BUYING IN DROVES AGAIN.

>> ONE OF THE THINGS I ALSO WAS

CURIOUS ABOUT IS HOW IS ALL OF

THIS AFFECTING TRUCKERS JUST IN

THEIR WORK LIVES?

OBVIOUSLY IF THERE'S MORE

DEMAND, THERE'S GOT TO BE MORE

DEMAND FOR WORK, AND IS THIS

WORKING OUT ACROSS THE INDUSTRY

AND HOW IS THAT BEING MANAGED

BASICALLY?

>> IT'S BEEN INTERESTING.

IT IS A SHIFT LIKE WE'VE NEVER

SEEN BEFORE, AT LEAST SINCE I'VE

BEEN IN THIS INDUSTRY.

WE HAVE SEGMENTS OF THE INDUSTRY

THAT ARE INCREDIBLY BUSY AND

THEY'RE STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP.

THEN WE HAVE OTHER SEGMENTS THAT

ARE VERY SLOW.

AS WE'VE HAA LOT OF WHAT THEY U

TO DELIVER OR THE COMPANIES THEY

USED TO DELIVER TO ARE CLOSED.

WE HAVE DRIVERS THAT ARE

SEARCHING FOR WORK.

WHAT WE'RE STARTING TO SEE IS

THE INDUSTRY IS REALLY HELPING

EACH OTHER OUT.

WE HAVE -- WE REPRESENT TRUCKING

COMPANIES ACROSS THE STATE, AND

MANY OF OUR MEMBERS ARE CALLING

FOR EACH OTHER.

GREAT EXAMPLE I'VE USED SEVERAL

TIMES NOW, WE HAVE A FUEL HAULER

IN SYRACUSE, NEW YORK.

OF COURSE, PEOPLE AREN'T

DRIVING, BUSES AREN'T RUNNING.

THEY ARE VERY SLOW.

WE HAVE A GROCERY HAULER THAT,

OF COURSE, IS VERY BUSY TRYING

TO KEEP UP WITH THE NEW DEMAND

THERE.

OUR FUEL HAULER IS ACTUALLY

WORKING WITH THEM IN HAULING

THEIR TRAILERS AND ALSO HAULING

MILK TRAILERS AND TRYING TO KEEP

UP WITH THE DEMAND IN MILK.

WE ARE STARTING TO SEE THESE

PARTNERSHIPS AND THE INDUSTRY

HELPING EACH OTHER TO KEEP UP

WITH THE SHIFT IN THE SUPPLY

CHAIN.

>> NOW, WHEN IT COMES TO HOW THE

TRUCKERS ARE ACTUALLY WORKING --

I UNDERSTAND PRIOR TO COVID-19

THERE WERE REGULATIONS ABOUT HOW

LONG YOU COULD DRIVE AND HOW

LONG YOU HAD TO TAKE TIME OFF.

HAS ANY OF THAT SHIFTED, AND ARE

THERE ALSO OF COURSE SAFETY

REGULATIONS TO GO ALONG WITH

THAT?

>> OF COURSE.

THIS IS A VERY HIGHLY REGULATED

INDUSTRY.

WE TAKE SAFETY VERY SERIOUSLY,

BUT WITH THE FEDERAL DECLARATION

OF EMERGENCY, THERE WAS A

RECOGNITION WE NEEDED TO PROVIDE

RELIEF IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT

THE INDUSTRY COULD KEEP UP WITH

THE DEMAND AND GET THE, NOT ONLY

OUR GROCERY STORES, BUT

OBVIOUSLY OUR MEDICAL SUPPLIES

TO OUR HEALTH CARE FACILITIES AS

WELL.

SO THERE HAS BEEN SOME RELIEF

PROVIDED FOR THE HOURS OF

SERVICE OF OPERATION.

TYPICALLY DRIVERS ARE LIMITED TO

11 HOURS A DAY OF DRIVING OR 14

HOURS TOTAL ON DUTY.

THOSE REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN

RELAXED.

SO IF A DRIVER IS DELIVERING

ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES, THEY CAN GO

BEYOND THE 11 OR THE 14 HOURS.

AS SOON AS THEY ARE DONE WITH AN

ESSENTIAL DELIVERY, HOWEVER, IF

THEY DO NOT HAVE ANOTHER

ESSENTIAL DELIVERY IMMEDIATELY

BEHIND THAT ONE, THEY HAVE TO

TAKE TEN HOURS OFF DUTY AND GET

SOME REST.

SO IT IS A BALANCE BETWEEN

ENSURING THE EFFICIENCY AND THE

ABILITY TO GET THESE NECESSARY

SUPPLIES DELIVERED, BUT ALSO

MAKING SURE OUR DELIVERS ARE

SAFE AND WELL RESTED.

>> OF COURSE.

I'M SPEAKING WITH KENDRA HEMS,

PRESIDENT OF THE TRUCKING

ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK.

ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS

WONDERING IS, WITH SO MANY

BUSINESSES THAT ARE SUDDENLY

SHOULDERED OR CLOSED, DO

STRUCKERS STILL HAVE THE ABILITY

TO HAVE THE REST OFF THEY WOULD

NEED, TO GET FOOD THEY NEED OR

IS THIS THING THAT HAS TO BE

INVENTED?

>> SO FAR WE HAVEN'T HEARD OF

WIDESPREAD SHUTDOWNS IN REST

AREAS.

BOTH THE STATE THROUGHWAY

AUTHORITY AND OUR STATE

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ARE

KPLITED TO KEEPING THOSE REST

AREAS OPEN AND SERVICES

AVAILABLE FOR DRIVERS,

PARTICULARLY PROFESSIONAL TRUCK

DRIVERS.

THEY KNOW THE NEED FOREST AND

THE ABILITY TO HAVE RESTROOMS

AND FOOD AND WATER IS INCREDIBLY

IMPORTANT.

SO IN NEW YORK, THEY'RE

COMMITTED TO KEEPING THEM OPEN.

WE DID SEE A LITTLE HICCUP IN

PENNSYLVANIA EARLY ON.

UNDERSTANDING THEY WERE JUST

TRYING TO PROTECT THEIR WORKERS

AND PREVENT THE SPREAD, THEY

MADE A DECISION TO SHUT THEIR

REST AREAS DOWN.

THANKFULLY THEY RECONSIDERED

THAT AND THOSE REST AREAS ARE

NOW OPEN.

BY AND LARGE ACROSS THE COUNTRY

WE'RE HEARING THAT REST AREAS

ARE REMAINING OPEN SO THAT

DRIVERS CAN GET THE SERVICES

THEY NEED.

>> OF COURSE.

YOU SORT OF TOUCHED ON ANOTHER

AREA THAT MAKES SENSE.

TRUCKING IS CERTAINLY NOT

LIMITED JUST TO NEW YORK STATE,

OF COURSE.

COMMERCE IS NATIONAL AND

INTERNATIONAL SOMETIMES.

IS THERE I GUESS COMMUNICATION

AMONGST DIFFERENT GROUPS LIKE,

FOR EXAMPLE, COMPANIES THAT

MIGHT HAVE TO CROSS THE BORDER

WITH CANADA OR CROSS THE BORDER

WITH MEXICO OR JUST FROM STATE

TO STATE TO STATE TO STATE TO

MAKE SURE THAT THE SUPPLY LINE

IS MOVING SMOOTHLY JUST WITH AN

INCREASED DEMAND.

>> YES, ABSOLUTELY.

OBVIOUSLY WITHIN THE INDUSTRY

ITSELF, MANY OF THE TRUCKING

COMPANIES, THE SHIPPERS, THE

MANUFACTURERS, THEY ALL HAVE

COMMUNICATION THAT'S OCCURRING

TO ENSURE THAT THAT EFFICIENCY

IS REMAINING.

BUT EVEN THOUGH I REPRESENT THE

TRUCKING ASSOCIATION OF NEW

YORK, BUT EVERY STATE HAS A

STATE TRUCKING ASSOCIATION AND

WE ALSO HAVE THE NATIONAL

AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATION.

WE CALL OURSELVES A FEDERATION

IF YOU WILL.

WE'VE BEEN IN CONSTANT

COMMUNICATION WITH EACH OTHER

ABOUT THIS PANDEMIC SO THAT WE

CAN ENSURE THAT WE ARE FROM

CALIFORNIA TO NEW YORK AWARE OF

WHAT REGULATIONS ARE IN PLACE

AND THEN WE'RE PUSHING THAT

INFORMATION OUT TO THE INDUSTRY.

>> ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS I

FEEL MIGHT BE -- MAKE TRUCKERS

INVISIBLE FOR PEOPLE IS THAT WE

SEE JANITORS.

WE SEE PEOPLE WHO WORK IN OUR

GROCERY STORES, WE SEE SO MANY

OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SUDDENLY

ESSENTIAL WORKERS TO OUR ECONOMY

AND OUR EXISTENCE, BUT WE DON'T

NECESSARILY GET TO SEE THE

TRUCKERS WHO ARE BRINGING STUFF

AND MAKING DELIVERIES.

I WONDER IF YOU COULD PAINT A

PICTURE FOR US, WHO IS THE AEF

RAJ TRUCKER OR IS THERE AN

AVERAGE TRUCKER?

WHO ARE WE TALKING ABOUT WHO IS

MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO GET

FOOD AND MEDICINE?

>> THEY'RE ALL OF US.

MOTHERS, FATHERS, BROTHERS,

SISTERS.

THEY ARE AVERAGE PEOPLE THAT ARE

DOING AMAZING THINGS.

THEY ARE PUTTING THEMSELVES AT

RISK.

BY AND LARGE WHEN THEY'RE ON THE

ROAD, THEY'RE IN ISOLATION.

ONCE THEY GET TO THAT DELIVERY

POINT OR THEY'RE PICKING UP

WHATEVER PRODUCT THEY'RE PICKING

UP, THEY ARE POTENTIALLY

EXPOSING THEMSELVES AS WELL.

I THINK YOU MENTIONED EARLY ON,

KIND OF THE UNSUNG HEROES.

NOT ALL HEROES WEAR K5E7S.

THAT'S WITHOUT QUESTION OUR

TRUCK DRIVERS.

I'VE BEEN IN THIS INDUSTRY OVER

20 YEARS.

EVERY TIME THERE'S ANY KIND OF

EMERGENCY, WHETHER IT BE

WEATHER-RELATED EMERGENCY OR

SOMETHING OF THIS NATURE, THIS

INDUSTRY STEPS UP.

THERE'S SO MUCH PRIDE IN OUR

DRIVERS IN THIS INDUSTRY THAT

WHEN THEY CAN HELP, THEY WILL

HELP.

THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE DOING TODAY.

>> OF COURSE.

AND ALSO, IS THERE ANY CONCERN,

AS YOU WERE MENTIONING WITH THE

EXPOSURE THAT TRUCKERS HAVE --

AGAIN, THEY ARE PICKING UP STUFF

FROM ALL SORTS OF PLACES AND

TRANSPORTING IT, IS THERE

ABILITY FOR THEM TO HAVE THE

PROTECTIVE MEASURES THAT MIGHT

NEED GLOVES, MASKS, ET CETERA?

>> THAT HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE.

WE HAVE SEEN WHERE COMPANIES

HAVE STRUGGLED GETTING THE

PROPER PPE FOR THEIR DRIVERS,

AND WHEN THEY CAN GET IT,

THEY'RE PROVIDING THEM WITH THE

GLOVES, THE MASKS, THE HAND

SANITIZER.

BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S

JUST TAKING THE PROPER STEPS TO

ENSURE THAT THEY'RE WASHING

THEIR HANDS, THEY'RE WIPING DOWN

VEHICLES, THAT THEY'RE

MAINTAINING THE APPROPRIATE SIX

FEET OF DISTANCE AS POSSIBLE.

A LOT OF FACILITIES ARE HAVING

THE DRIVER STAY RIGHT IN THEIR

TRUCK, NOT EVEN GETTING OUT OF

THE TRUCK.

SO THEY'RE LIMITING EXPOSURE IN

THAT WAY AS WELL.

REALLY IT'S LIKE ANY OF US.

IF WE'RE GOING TO GET OUT AND WE

HAVE TO INTERACT, WE TAKE THOSE

PRECAUTIONS.

>> I JUST WANT TO ONE MORE TIME

REITERATE BECAUSE, AGAIN, THE

SUPPLY CHAIN IS WORKING.

IT'S JUST NEEDED TO ADJUST.

THERE'S MORE THAN ENOUGH TO GO

AROUND.

>> MORE THAN ENOUGH TO GO

AROUND, ABSOLUTELY.

I KNOW IT CAN CAUSE FEAR WHEN

YOU WALK INTO A GROCERY STORE

AND SEE THOSE EMPTY SHELVES AND

YOU GET VERY NERVOUS.

LIKE I SAID, THOSE SHELVES ARE

BEING RESTOCKED.

IT'S JUST TIME OF DAY ON WHEN

YOU GET THERE.

IF WE COULD CALM THE FEAR AND

GET CONSUMERS TO UNDERSTAND YOU

DON'T NEED TO PANIC BUY, JUST

SHOP AS YOU NORMALLY WOULD SHOP,

YOU'D SEE THE SHELVES FILL BACK

UP AGAIN AND IT WOULD BE FINE.

YES, THERE'S PLENTY IN THE

SUPPLY CHAIN.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO GO HUNGRY.

WE ALL HAVE PLENTY OF TOILET

PAPER.

WE WILL HAVE PLENTY.

MANUFACTURERS ARE CONTINUING TO

MANUFACTURE TOILET PAPER AND

PAPER PRODUCTS, AND WE WILL GET

THEM TO THE STORES AND FILL THEM

BACK UP FOR YOU.

>> FINAL QUESTION.

SINCE WE'RE STILL GETTING NEW

INFORMATION ABOUT HOW LONG WE'RE

GOING TO NEED TO PRACTICE THIS

SOCIAL DISTANCING, HOW

SUSTAINABLE DO YOU SEE THIS?

IS THIS SOMETHING THAT COULD GO

ON WITH THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY

A

FOR MONTHS PERHAPS?

>> THE INDUSTRY CAN ADJUST.

THEY'LL MAKE ADJUSTMENTS, JUST

AS THEY ALREADY HERE.

WE'RE THREE WEEKS INTO THIS INTO

NEW YORK SINCE WE HAD THE FIRST

CASE DIAGNOSED.

THEY'LL CONTINUE TO ADJUST AS

NEEDED TO ENSURE WE'RE MEETING

THE NEEDS, WHETHER IT BE THE

MEDICAL SUPPLIES BEING DELIVERED

OR RESTOCKING OUR SHELVES OR

GETTING PRODUCTS TO

MANUFACTURERS.

THEY'LL CONTINUE TO DO WHAT THEY

DO.

THE INDUSTRY HAS ALWAYS BEEN

HERE AND WILL ALWAYS BE HERE.

IT'S ONE OF THOSE THINGS YOU CAN

RELY ON EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY NOT

RECOGNIZE IT EVERY SINGLE DAY.

WE'RE DOING WHAT WE DO EVERY

DAY.

IT'S JUST THAT NOW I THINK IT'S

REALLY BEING RECOGNIZED BECAUSE

THE NEED HAS GROWN SO MUCH.

>> ALL RIGHT.

KENDRA HEMS, PRESIDENT OF THE

TRUCKING ASSOCIATION OF NEW

YORK, I WANT TO THANK YOU SO

MUCH FOR JOINING ME ON THE

PROGRAM AND GIVING US OR AT

LEAST PEACE OF MIND THAT THE

SUPPLY CHAIN IS WORKING.

THINGS ARE GOING TO BE OKAY?

>> YES, ABSOLUTELY.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> FOR THE LATEST NEWS ON THE

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND YOUR

COMMUNITY, VISIT US AT

METROFOCUS.ORG, FACEBOOK AND

TWITTER.

GOOD NIGHT AND STAY SAFE.

>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,

ROSALIND P. WALTER,

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,

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