July 1, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Council Member Costa Constantinides missed the city budget vote Tuesday after being hospitalized with COVID-19 complications again.
Constantinides suffered breathing difficulties and chest pain at around 8 p.m. last night and checked into Mount Sinai Queens, according to his spokesperson Terence Cullen.
Constantinides notified the city council that he would be unable to attend the vote as he arrived at the Emergency Department.
He spent several hours in the hospital and has now returned home, Cullen said.
It was the first time Constantinides missed a budget vote since being elected to office in 2013. The city council passed an $88.1 billion budget for FY 2021 with a 32-to-17 vote around midnight.
Constantinides, who represents Astoria and East Elmhurst, first contracted COVID-19 in late March and has been battling it since.
He was hospitalized on three separate occasions in April due to COVID-19.
“Last night I was once again forced to go to the hospital with complications from COVID-19,” Constantinides said in a statement Wednesday. “You don’t know how frustrating this has been, as I want to fully focus on my job. But breathing is at times difficult, especially as the weather gets hotter.”
The lawmaker, who didn’t say whether he would have voted for the budget or not, has previously called for cuts to the NYPD budget. In a statement, he vowed to continue to fight for a smaller police force despite being term-limited in 2021.
“While I was not able to make a stand last night, I am committed to using whatever time I have left in the council to fight for a scaled-down police department,” he said.
Last night I was once again forced to go to the hospital with complications from COVID-19. This hasn’t been the first time since I contracted the virus in late March. 1/
— Costa Constantinides (@Costa4NY) July 1, 2020