A leading New York City lawmaker said Monday that officials may be
forced to temporarily begin burying the city’s coronavirus victims in
local parks — as morgues and hospitals struggle to keep up with the
mounting death toll, a city councilman said Monday.
“Soon we’ll start ‘temporary interment’,” said Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) wrote in a series of tweets. “This
likely will be done by using a NYC park for burials (yes you read that
right). Trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a line.”
“It will be done in a dignified, orderly–and temporary–manner. But it
will be tough for NYers to take,” Levine wrote, adding in another
tweet, “The goal is to avoid scenes like those in Italy, where the
military was forced to collect bodies from churches and even off the
He later clarified his tweets, saying this “is a contingency NYC is
preparing for BUT if the death rate drops enough it will not be
Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked about the grim matter during a coronavirus press briefing Monday at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
“We may well be dealing with temporary burials, so we can deal with
each family later,” the mayor said. We will have the capacity for
temporary burials – that’s all I’m going to say.”
“I’m not going into details,” de Blasio said. “I don’t think it’s a great thing to be talking about.”
However, Hizzoner did mention city-owned Hart Island — the city’s
longtime potter’s field and nation’s largest public burial ground, which
sits just off The Bronx’s southeast coast in the Long Island Sound.
“We’re going to try and treat every family with dignity, respect
religious needs of those who are devout, and the focus now is to try and
get through this crisis and obviously also put all of our energy and
resources into saving those we can save,” he added.
A spokeswoman for the city’s Medical Examiner’s office, Aja
Worthy-Davis, told The Post there are no plans currently to begin
temporary burials and that the freezers at agency facilities in
Manhattan and Brooklyn have “adequate space.”
“We have no plans right now to bury anyone in city parks,” said
Worthy-Davis, noting that the disturbing scenario is mentioned in a
previous OCME disaster plan, but “it’s not in the works at this time.”
There is nothing dignified about this plan at all. Also undignified is the fact that this city did not did not prepare and was ill-equipped to handle a major emergency.
Levine may be doing all the talking and tweeting about this, but this ghoulish idea has de Blasio's micromanaging style all over it.