Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

coronavirus

coronavirus

  • Republican Gubernatorial Primary Debates Rife with Misinformation about 2020 Election, January 6 Insurrection, Covid, and More

    Republican primary debate in race for NY Governor (photo: pool)


    The four Republican candidates running for governor have faced off in three debates ahead of the June 28 primary, each attempting to set themselves apart from the others and from the Democratic governor, Kathy Hochul, who they want to replace. But in their appeals to the party faithful, three of the candidates have indulged in misinformation, half-truths, and outright lies about the 2020 presidential election, the January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol insurrection, the covid vaccine, criminal justice reforms in

    ...
  • In Response to Covid, Manhattan Borough President Seeks to Mandate Improved Indoor Air Quality Standards

    Manhattan BP Mark Levine (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)


    Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine is planning to introduce legislation to mandate improved indoor air quality standards to preempt future disease outbreaks and limit successive waves of COVID-19. 

    Levine, who previously served on the City Council and made a name for himself during the pandemic as chair of the Council’s health committee, is working with Council Member Keith Powers, a fellow Manhattan Democrat, and has requested the Council’s legislative

    ...
  • Winning the Public Health Recovery from Covid

    Mayor Adams visits health care workers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In its battle against COVID-19, New York City, even under a notably disorganized mayor, arrived at an impressive level of health organization. As may be recalled, Mayor de Blasio switched the lead role in the covid fight to Health + Hospitals, the city’s public hospital system, from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), which retained major responsibilities but not its usual lead position in epidemics. It is to the credit of both agencies that, under this forced and

    ...
  • Max Politics Podcast: New York City Economic and Workplace Trends, with Kathryn Wylde

     

    Opening One Vanderbilt in East Midtown (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    May 11, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: NYC Economic and Workplace Trends, with Kathryn Wylde

    Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for New York City, a business association of the city's largest employers and business leaders, joined the show to discuss economic and workplace trends, the future of work, the health of the city's office sector and central businesses districts, Mayor Adams' leadership, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us

    ...
  • Max Politics Podcast: The Future of Lower Manhattan, with Jessica Lappin

     
    Lower Manhattan (photo: @DowntownNYC)


    May 10, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: The Future of Lower Manhattan, with Jessica Lappin

    Jessica Lappin, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York and former City Council member, joined the show to discuss the future of Lower Manhattan, including the area's evolution over time, office occupancy, tourism, affordable housing, and more. That includes the work of The Downtown Alliance, which manages the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District, publishes research, provides services, and advocates on behalf of

    ...
  • We Need a Comprehensive Education Plan to Get Our Children Back on Track

    Helping students recover (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    “Have you been reading to your child and teaching them about letters daily? Ever since the pandemic, we have seen a delay in letter recognition and this is a very important skill for kindergarten children.”

    This is what was conveyed to each of us individually when we brought our children to tutors to assess whether they were on track to learn to read. As working mothers who engage with schools on a daily basis, it was very difficult for us to

    ...
  • Experts Analyze Future of New York City's Central Business Districts

    At the stock exchange (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on New York City’s core Central Business Districts – particularly Midtown Manhattan and Lower Manhattan – which are home to the businesses and industries that are the biggest drivers of the city’s economy.

    The lockdown and stay-at-home orders forced by the pandemic changed the nature of work in the city and beyond, and though the office sector – including the information, financial and real estate, and professional and business services industries that occupy so much of the space

    ...
  • Hochul's Ordered Review of New York's Covid Response 'Underway'

    Then-Gov. Cuomo & then-Lt. Gov. Hochul (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    An internal review of New York State's response to the COVID-19 pandemic is quietly "underway," a spokesperson for Governor Kathy Hochul has confirmed, though what stage it is in remains unclear.

    The governor's office has been tight-lipped about its scope and timeline but acknowledged that a review is being discussed, at least among top administration officials, in response to Gotham Gazette inquiries. Those questions followed Gotham Gazette reporting last month on the possibility of an investigatory

    ...
  • Divorce Got Easier During Covid; That Shouldn’t Change

    Brooklyn municipal building (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A few months ago, in my role as a family attorney, I settled a fairly ugly child custody dispute in Queens Family Court. As my client and I debriefed, he asked me, “I probably saved some money with this being entirely online, huh?” I didn’t have to think twice. “Absolutely,” I told him. “At least a thousand dollars.”

    I was underestimating. After I did the math, I estimated that my client saved around $3,750 solely because the case was

    ...
  • Will New York Form a Covid Response Review Commission?

    Gov. Cuomo holding a covid briefing (photo: Governor's Office)


    In 2018, a sight-seeing helicopter crashed into the East River near Manhattan's Upper East Side, killing five passengers. A year later it happened again on the roof of a skyscraper in midtown. The pilot died. After the second crash, Senator Chuck Schumer called for the FAA to require helicopters be equipped with "black boxes," like airplanes, so officials could examine what goes on in the cockpit before a wreck and avoid future tragedies.

    Two years after the first recorded COVID-19 deaths in New York, facing the threat of a new strain

    ...
  • Turn to Communities to Turn Around New York’s Unprecedented Health Disaster

    Mayor Adams promotes good health (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City and State face unprecedented mass illness--from chronic disease that has been allowed to fester for decades, ongoing endemic COVID-19, and uncountable already existing cases of Long Covid--plus rising overdose rates and emergency illness from drug use, and more. With all this, mass trauma has overtaken whole communities. There will never be sufficient professional personnel, from clinicians to police officers, to contend with this unprecedented

    ...
  • ‘We Simply Cannot Predict What This Virus Will Do Next’: Dr. Jay Varma’s Reflections and Warnings on New York City’s Covid War

    Covid vaccination (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As New York City was in the throes of the initial devastating wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio recruited Dr. Jay Varma to help guide his public health policy.

    Varma, a well-respected international expert on infectious disease control and prevention, became de Blasio’s senior advisor for public health in April 2020, relocating back to New York City from work he was doing abroad and helping to craft public health policy for the city through the end of 2021 and de Blasio’s tenure as

    ...
  • What is New York City Doing to Boost Covid Vaccination Where Rates Remain Persistently Low?

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Getting vaccinated (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Uptake of COVID-19 vaccines remains persistently low in pockets of New York City two years into the pandemic, despite being shown to reduce the severity and spread of the virus that has killed nearly 40,000 New Yorkers.

    A city health department study in August found a vast majority of covid-related hospitalizations

    ...
  • Max Politics Podcast: Dr. Dave Chokshi on Recent Covid Policy Decisions and His Tenure as NYC Health Commissioner

    NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    March 9, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Dr. Dave Chokshi on His Tenure as NYC Health Commissioner

    Outgoing New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi joined the show to discuss the city's latest covid policies, what's next in the city's fight against COVID-19, and to reflect on his nearly two-year tenure as city health commissioner. Dr. Chokshi, who stayed on in the role for the first few months of the Adams administration and is now departing city government as planned in mid-March, explained

    ...
  • Max Politics Podcast: Dr. Jay Varma on New York City's Battle with COVID-19

    Dr. Jay Varma (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    March 8, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Dr. Jay Varma on the Next Phase of NYC Covid Protections

    Dr. Jay Varma, former senior advisor for public health to Mayor Bill de Blasio and international expert on disease control and prevention, joined the show to discuss his views on what covid protections and restrictions New York City should have in place and what's next in managing the pandemic, as well as reflections on the city's long battle with COVID-19.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what

    ...
  • Comptroller Lander Launches Tracker for City Spending of $11 Billion in Federal Pandemic Aid

    Comptroller Brad Lander, standing (photo: Office of New York City Comptroller)


    New York City Comptroller Brad Lander on Tuesday unveiled anonline dashboard tracking how the city is spending and allocating more than $11 billion in federal stimulus funds. Lander pointed to several deficiencies in the city’s accounting of those funds, with unclear links between the source of funding and expenditures

    ...
  • California’s Moving to Expand Health Coverage to Immigrants; What About New York?

    ca mov expand

    Health care in New York (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed a $2.7 billion expansion to his state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, in his state budget proposal. This transformative policy would extend to all immigrants, regardless of their status, covering an estimated 700,000 individuals. As California moves forward to expand immigrants’ access to health care,

    ...
  • Covid Surge in State Psychiatric Centers Kills Two Patients in January, Hundreds Remain Infected

    rockland psychiatric center main buildings

    Rockland Psychiatric Center (photo: @Acroterion via Wikimedia Commons)


    The winter COVID-19 surge in state-run psychiatric centers has continued, killing two patients in January and with roughly 200 patients still infected as of February 2.

    The facilities, 24 in all, are home to New Yorkers deemed to have severe mental illnesses that require segregation from the community and/or on-site treatment. There are currently 4,400

    ...
  • Housing Courts Must Change: Every Tenant Should Have Right to Counsel as Eviction Moratorium Lifts

    (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)

    New York housing (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    New York City’s Right to Counsel (RTC) has proven to be successful at stopping evictions and protecting tenants’ rights. Evictions in New York City have plummeted, landlords are suing tenants less, and almost everyone who fights their eviction with an RTC attorney stays in their homes. This has been especially true during the pandemic. Amidst ever-changing laws and complicated government relief programs and administrative orders, RTC has been critical.

    And it’s now even more

    ...
  • Hochul Presents $216 Billion Executive Budget with Major Spending Plans, Promise of Fiscal Responsibility

    51828832589 8a9a3684db c

    Gov. Hochul presents her budget (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)


    Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday put forth a $216.3 billion Executive Budget for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins April 1, making massive proposed investments in education, health care, and infrastructure as the state continues on its road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Hochul touted a “socially responsible and fiscally prudent” budget plan that will rebuild the state’s health-care and education workforces, provide tax relief to middle

    ...
  • Governor Hochul Must Act Now to Protect Essential Workers

    roc kh holds

    Gov. Hochul (photo: Darren McGee/ Governor's Office)


    Essential workers have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic for two years, risking their lives to keep the rest of us safe and the economy running. These workers don’t have the option to work from home—they are your grocers, nurses, delivery workers, transit operators, retail workers, and more—and they are most vulnerable to this deadly virus. They are also overwhelmingly people of color, women, and immigrants, enduring dangerous jobs for the benefit of the many.

    And now, we look to essential

    ...
  • Lessons from NYC Past: Like Mayors Before Him, Eric Adams Enters Office Amid Major Crisis

    village amid crisis

    Mayor Eric Adams (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Voters have thrust Eric Adams upon history. He has taken office as the city faces one of its greatest crises—a resurging covid pandemic as a result of the highly-contagious Omicron variant—along with the usual city troubles of crime, homelessness, and mental illness, among others.

    Yet, Adams is hardly the first mayor to be sworn in during a crisis. What historical lessons exist for Mayor Adams?

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg was sworn into office four months after September

    ...
  • State Psychiatric Facilities, Home to Especially Vulnerable Patients, Hit with Another Covid Surge

    mhpc

    Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center (photo: omh.ny.gov)


    State-run psychiatric hospitals have been engulfed by this winter's coronavirus surge, casting one of the most vulnerable populations back into the pandemic's path and miring the state agency responsible for them.

    Confirmed covid cases among patients and staff living and working in the state's 24 inpatient psychiatric centers have been ticking up for the last several weeks before jumping significantly more recently, mirroring the trend around the state.

    In less than two weeks, from December 20 to January 2, the

    ...
  • How is New York City Assessing High School Students’ Social and Emotional Skills?

    schools students covid safety

    Students back at school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The pandemic has exacerbated the mental health risks faced by students in our public schools. Last spring, in an effort to monitor students' social-emotional health, the de Blasio administration awarded an $18 million contract to Aperture Education, a South Carolina-based “social enterprise” founded in 2017, to assess students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) at at all grade levels. As a public high school student, I am

    ...
  • New York Needs Leaders Who Think School Safety is Important

    classroom covid

    Kids and teachers safe in school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if we had a mayor who thought school safety was important. Bill de Blasio didn’t, or he wouldn’t have placed the ridiculous plan we’ve had since September into effect. Eric Adams doesn’t, or he wouldn’t have rubber-stamped the ‘doubling’ of the anemic de Blasio plan.

    Here’s the problem. You can say we’re testing 10%, 20%, or whatever percentage you choose for covid, but it’s not a real figure unless you’re talking about everyone. Right now, we are

    ...