A vigil took place in Queens to address the issue of the limited amount of hospital beds available in the borough on Saturday.
The "Beds Not Body Bags" vigil and rally was organized by the group Rise and Resist. State data shows Queens has 1.7 beds for every 1,000 residents. That's the worst ratio in the city.
In Manhattan, there are 5.8 beds for every 1,000 residents. Activists cite the closing of four hospitals in the last 20 years as having a deadly impact on Queens residents during the pandemic.
"It's not enough hospital beds, not enough ICU capacity, not enough emergency room capacity to handle the situation. And people died as a result of that," said one activist. "We're hoping to get attention that can build pressure, so that we have the kind of public medical services that we need during a pandemic, and beyond."
They're calling on health and city officials to increase the number of hospitals in the borough.