New York Daily News

Gov talks of a memorial for workers

- BY DENIS SLATTERY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo applauded first responders and celebrated the state’s expansion of COVID-19 vaccine eligibilit­y to anyone over 16 at the Javits Center on Tuesday as he announced a memorial to be dedicated to frontline and essential workers.

The embattled governor, overseeing a days-late budget process, continued his streak of press-free appearance­s as he faces sexual harassment allegation­s, an impeachmen­t inquiry and federal probes into the state’s handling of coronaviru­s deaths at nursing homes.

Cuomo, who spoke at length about the early days of the pandemic and the conversion of the massive convention center into a little-used field hospital, announced the creation of a commission for a memorial to essential workers who died caring for the sick as well as keeping basic services up and running during the past year.

“We’re going to honor those essential workers, and we’re going to build a memorial to those essential workers,” he said. “The commission we announced today is going to be charged with just finding a location and designing a memorial. The memorial says to the essential workers, ‘Thank you.’ ”

The Essential Workers Monument will recognize the 17 essential worker groups “whose members continued selflessly serving their fellow New Yorkers during the state’s coronaviru­s pandemic response.”

The groups include nurses, doctors, hospital staff, teachers, transport workers, police, EMS, firefighte­rs, correction­s, sanitation, National Guard, store employees, government employees, building service workers, utility workers, delivery drivers and constructi­on and manufactur­ing workers.

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