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King praises first responders, looks to religious observances

Congressman Peter King meeting with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney.


By Irish Echo Staff

Congressman Peter King is drawing up his list of heroes in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Long Island Republican, who is not running for reelection in November, has also been in discussions with New York area religious leaders with regard to how to best mark and celebrate upcoming seasonal religious observances.

Stated King in an online posting: "First responders are the true warriors in this war against the Coronavirus pandemic. Police Officers, Firefighters, EMS Workers, Corrections Officers, Doctors, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and all Healthcare Workers literally put their lives on the line for us everyday.

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"Just in the past few days we have learned that: More than 900 NYPD officers have tested positive for the virus, 14% of the force has had to call in sick and there have been 5 fatalities. FDNY 233 tested positive. At least one fatality. Nassau PD - 81 positive; 175 quarantined. Nassau Corrections - 12 positive; 25 quarantined. Suffolk PD - 32 Positive. Suffolk Sheriff - 9 Positive; 35 quarantined.

"These are the latest available numbers. By the time you read this, those numbers will have gone up. And each of those numbers is a human being with a family and friends who suffer and anguish with them.

"There are also many casualties among healthcare workers. Those exact numbers are more difficult to calculate because there are so many separate hospitals and healthcare providers with no central coordinating entity. Their sacrifices are truly extraordinary.

"All these first responders know that worse days lie ahead over the next several weeks. Like soldiers going into battle, these men and women are bravely confronting a vicious, deadly enemy to protect all the rest of us. They all deserve our strongest support and our prayers. Because of their heroism, we will win this war!

"First responders and healthcare workers are doing heroic work, saving lives while putting their own lives on the line and becoming seriously ill themselves. It is at times of crisis - such as during 9/11 - that many people look for religious guidance and spiritual strength."

With regard to upcoming religious observances King posted: "Nassau County Executive Laura Curran brought together Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy to discuss how Easter, Passover and Ramadan observances will be conducted online so that worshippers can observe their religious holy days without risking their health.

"The other night Cardinal Dolan telephoned me at home. After asking how Rosemary and I were doing, he expressed concern for my daughter Erin who was diagnosed with breast cancer just over one year ago. I assured Cardinal Dolan that we were all doing fine especially Erin down in North Carolina and thanked him very much for his interest and concern.

"I thanked His Eminence for his thoughtfulness and told him how reassuring it was to be speaking with him. We then discussed the horrific impact of the pandemic on New York and its people, the importance of the legislation we just passed being implemented quickly and the necessity of all of us standing together. As always Cardinal Dolan was strong and filled with faith and hope. Cardinal Dolan has been a good friend to Rosemary and me since he came to New York and his call meant a great deal to us.

"I commend Cardinal Dolan for his concern for all New Yorkers as I thank religious leaders of all denominations and beliefs for all that they are doing to provide hope and strength for the people of New York and Long Island at our moment of need. God Bless America!"