There is no question that tourism is nonexistent in New York City right now.
So what to do with all those empty hotel rooms? Turn them into temporary hospitals.
"We're going to get a lot of hotels, literally in some cases leasing entire hotels, converting them into temporary hospitals," Mayor Bill de Blasio said on NY1 Monday night.
During an appearance on NY1 Monday night, the mayor said agencies across the city, state and federal governments are drafting plans to convert hotel spaces into temporary hospitals.
In some cases, the city will rent entire hotels. In other cases, they will rent out floors.
The mayor says he hopes these spaces will be near existing hospitals and will not act as intensive care units.
"We are going to be doing that to the tune of thousands of thousands of rooms," the mayor said.
The mayor's office estimates the city will need to triple the number of hospital beds it has now to handle the surge of patients expected at the apex of the coronavirus outbreak here. On top of that, after several days of record calls to the 911 system, the mayor said he is rapidly moving more personnel into EMS and trying to get new ambulances. As first reported by NBC News, FEMA is sending dozens of ambulances to the city to help.
The mayor also said he met with FEMA official Thomas Von Essen, the city’s former fire commissioner, to discuss how the city would be dealing with morgue capacity. They discussed how the chief medical examiner's office needed help to quickly store bodies.
As for the economy, the mayor reiterated his support for a rent freeze for rent-stabilized apartments, and he said the state should act to help out other renters as well. He said the state should create some sort of "rent moratorium" for people who are struggling to pay for housing during this crisis. Details were not immediately available on what that might look like.