NYC councilman shares grim coronavirus warning: 'If it could happen here, it could happen anywhere'

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As New York City hospitals strain under the weight of more than 23,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, city councilman Eric Ulrich criticized the "woefully unprepared" public health system and warned other cities that "if it could happen so quickly here ... it could happen anywhere."

"I think a lot of people are concerned about the direction of our city and our response," Ulrich, a Republican who represents parts of Queens on the council, told "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Thursday. "We were woefully underprepared and clearly we can make this mistake in other parts of the country."

With New York City now the epicenter of the pendemic in the United States, Ulrich fears hospitals may face a shortage of medical personnel.

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"As more and more doctors and nurses and other first responders get the virus, they are unable to help their fellow New Yorkers and people who are sick and who need the help," he said.

"I think we are going to have a shortage not of ventilators anytime soon, [but] we will have a shortage of medical professionals."

Ulrich's comments come a day after a New York City hospital's assistant nursing manager, 48-year-old Kious Kelly, died two weeks after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Slamming New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's handling of the crisis, Ulrich said he was disappointed that the mayor did not take the coronavirus crisis seriously from the outset.

"The mayor dragged his feet, did not want to close our public school system and put countless people at risk," Ulrich said, pointing to the case of a Brooklyn public school principal who died of complications from the virus.