NEW YORK - New York lawmakers are demanding federal 'Disaster Funeral Assistance' to help the families of coronavirus victims bury their loved ones.
The pair says New York, and in particular, Ocasio-Cortez's district in Queens and the Bronx, has been the hardest hit by the novel coronavirus. They claim that many victims in lower-income and minority communities are faced with a crushing burden of expensive funeral costs.
"So many people with this crisis, who don't have money, don't have the ability to give a proper funeral and burial to their loved ones who have passed away from this evil illness," Schumer said.
The two lawmakers say an existing FEMA program is available to help but the federal agency needs to approve special funeral assistance.
"It's bad enough people are losing their jobs, don't have food to eat, are separated from their families and loved ones, but to not be able to give a decent funeral and burial to someone who is near and dear to you is outrageous," Schumer said.
"These are the people that are feeding our families, that are servicing our hospitals, are making sure our grandparents are ok," Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said. "This crisis is happening in a context of racial and income inequality."
More than 10,000 people have died from coronavirus in New York and a majority of the victims are in New York City.