NEW YORK - Calling the coronavirus crisis a "war against an invisible enemy," Mayor Bill de Blasio wants the federal government to create a national enlistment program for doctors and nurses to join the fight against the pandemic.
"This was a war with many, many fronts and we cannot ask each city to try and somehow improvise while dealing with the greatest health care crisis in a century," de Blasio said on Friday. "Right now, there are doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals all over the country going about their normal lives and they're doing good work. But a lot of them could be freed up in a crisis to help save lives."
The mayor said he expects New York City to face "unprecedented challenges" in the next few weeks and is asking the president to call on doctors and nurses around the country to deploy where they are most needed.
De Blasio said the U.S. military has the resources to manage a national program that would recruit available medical personnel to fight the coronavirus wherever it is raging the most. These doctors and nurses could then rapidly re-deploy to the next hotspot, the mayor said.
"That's the only way we are going to get through the months ahead," de Blasio said. "It has never been done but we know what it looks like because this country has been through war."