Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

coronavirus

coronavirus

  • Owning Our Homes, Owning Our Future: A Path to a Just Recovery

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    Housing on the line (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor’s Office)


    On the eve of the pandemic, I gathered with my neighbors outside their building in the Kingsbridge neighborhood of the Bronx to sound an alarm. For those tenants, it wouldn’t be true to say that “crisis had hit home.” They had been steeped in crisis for some time.

    For three decades, the landlord of 2201-2205 Davidson Avenue had racked up a $12.6 million debt in unpaid property taxes

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  • We Must Take Steps Now to Help Domestic Violence Survivors

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    Seeking an end to domestic violence and protecting survivors (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Three women tragically lost their lives in New York City over the course of one week due to domestic violence. Thousands of women and children remain in danger. Many are faced with the devastating choice of staying with an abuser or losing their home.  

    Domestic violence was the ...

  • Rebuild Hospital Capacity in Queens Before It's Too Late, Again

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    Mayor de Blasio at Elmhurst Hospital (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A study recently released by New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection had a grim finding: as the pandemic overwhelmed the city last spring, 30% of patients hospitalized because of COVID-19 ended up dying. The findings confirmed the images New Yorkers grew accustomed to seeing — mobile morgues and patients struggling to survive in h...

  • What Happens in Williamsburg Doesn't Stay in Williamsburg

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    The mayor in Williamsburg, Dec. 2019 (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    For years we at Young Advocates for Fair Education (YAFFED) have raised awareness of the utter failure of many ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic yeshivas to comply with minimal secular education standards for non-public schools. Many legislators and voters considered it to be a niche issue, some believing it is a community that should be left to its own devices. However, the repeated pattern of disregard for...

  • Deadly Upstate Testing Delays

  • MTA’s ‘Worst Case’ is Really a Massive $23 Billion Deficit Through 2024

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    Governor Cuomo at an MTA train depot (photo: governor's office)


    New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is facing the largest fiscal crisis in its history due to COVID-19. With more federal aid not forthcoming, the MTA has been buying time – quite literally, by borrowing up to $2.9 billion from the Federal Reserve – before the axe will need to fall on service and its workforce. The MTA’s Chief Financial Officer, Bob Foran, said that layoffs would need to start

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  • Essential Workers Continue to Struggle for Covid-Related Workers' Comp and Death Benefits

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    Many frontline workers have sought covid-related workers' comp (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Eight months into the coronavirus outbreak in New York, frontline workers and their families continue to struggle to receive workers' compensation and death benefits for covid-related injuries incurred on the job. A Gotham Gazette analysis of claim data from the Workers' Compensation Board reveals that fewer than 2% of workplace injury claims associated with the virus have had lost wages awarded through the Board, while thousands remain in

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  • New York Hospitals Brace for a Second Covid Wave. Are They Ready?

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    Lincoln Hospital staff (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As public health officials eye a second major swell of COVID-19 infections and an increase in hospitalizations, New York's hospital systems have begun to brace for another flood of patients. The state has even opened a field hospital on Staten Island in response to rising numbers, a dismal reminder of the devastation of the spring.

    In the months since the height of the pandemic in the spring, New York's health care institutions have been making preparations to try to avoid the same chaos and

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  • The Covid Crisis Made the New York Health Act More Urgent, More Unlikely, or Both

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    New Yorkers at a hospital, pre-pandemic (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When Mariana Pineda was diagnosed with COVID-19 in April, she spent several days in the hospital being treated for pneumonia and sepsis after not being able to see a primary care doctor due to a recent change in insurance plans.

    Pineda, an asthmatic, is one of an untold number of New Yorkers who put off seeking treatment for the coronavirus due to complications with insurance plans or not having health care coverage at all.

    “The third day of feeling very sick at home

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  • Keeping Apart, Staying Connected, and Giving Thanks on This Very Different Thanksgiving

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    Chirlane McCray, the author, thanking health care workers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    This Thanksgiving will be unlike any other. The empty chairs at our tables are a stark reminder of lives lost, personal caution we must take, and the advisories to limit travel to control the spread of the coronavirus. Amid the rising virus toll and deep divisions symbolized by an electoral map of red states and blue states we still crave connection.

    New Yorkers have something in common with those in every single state: the

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  • For the Entire Metro Region, We Must Do Everything We Can to Avoid Another Broad Economic Shutdown

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    Steve Bellone, the author/left, at a local business (photo: @SteveBellone)


    To say that 2020 has been a rough year for New Yorkers would be the understatement of the century. COVID-19 hit us like a mack truck, with the greater New York City metropolitan area suffering the worst.

    Working with Governor Cuomo, we quickly sprang into action to flatten the curve and save lives with a shutdown. But it did not come without a steep toll on our economy and small businesses. After months of strict shutdown rules, New Yorkers finally began to see a light at

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  • The MTA’s $500 Million Cleaning Regimen is Shutting the Subways Overnight; Experts Say It’s Not Worth It

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    Gov. Cuomo cleans the subway (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    This story was published in partnership with New York Focus, an independent, investigative news publication covering New York state and city politics.
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    Every night since May 6, a small army of sanitation workers has mopped floors, wiped poles and turnstiles, and wielded electrostatic sprayers and ultraviolet lamps to disinfect New York City’s subway system.

    The Metropolitan

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  • Survey Shows Extent of Suffering, Challenges for Low-Income New Yorkers

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    A line for emergency food (Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Low-income New Yorkers are doing worse financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic than they were during the Great Recession, according to survey findings being released Friday by the Community Service Society (CSS), a non-profit focused on disadvantaged New Yorkers.

    The Unheard Third is an annual survey conducted by CSS in partnership with Lake Research and named based on the third of voting-age New Yorkers who live in low-income households that are often overlooked by politicians.

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: City Council Education Chair Mark Treyger on What's Next for City Schools

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    Council Member Mark Treyger, right (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    November 18, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: City Council Education Chair Mark Treyger on What's Next for City Schools

    Brooklyn City Council Member Mark Treyger, chair of the Council's education committee and a former teacher, joined the show to discuss the closure of city school buildings and what's next, including a proposal he has for how to restructure in-person learning.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter ...

  • Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Liz Krueger on Next Steps in the Covid Fight

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    Senator Liz Krueger (photo: NY Senate)


    November 18, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Liz Krueger on Next Steps in the Covid Fight

    State Senator Liz Krueger joined the show to discuss the next steps in New York's fight against the coronavirus.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMaxand @JarrettMurphy. You can listen to the show through the embedded audio below or download the

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  • Surveillance and the City: New York’s Latest Covid Boondoggle Is In Your Pocket

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    Gov. Cuomo talks contact tracing (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    With the presidential election behind us, I had started to gain hope that the robotexts of recent weeks would soon end. But on Friday night came a curious new entry to this genre of smartphone spam. It began, “Hi! This is the NYS Department of Health. Download the COVID Alert NY App!” With that message, I knew we had entered a new phase in the fight over contact tracing apps.

    Contact tracing is nothing new. ...

  • The State Must Step In Now to Avoid a Mass Transit Apocalypse

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    Governor Cuomo on the subway (photo: governor's office)


    Hope that Congress can enact a post-election stimulus package to aid the economy amid another explosion of coronavirus cases has narrowed. One major institution in New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), is now out of time to get help. It is therefore necessary for New York State to step up and rescue the MTA before it begins a series of wrenching cutbacks that could permanently harm the New York region. The

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  • For Students’ Sake, New York City Should Keep Schools Open

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the city’s seven-day rolling average positive test rate for COVID-19 approaches 3% and with the Mayor and Department of Education seemingly on the brink of closing schools again, public school parents, like me, are anxious and angry. Students, teachers, administrators, and parents have done everything we promised to keep our schools open, safe, and healthy. Shutting down schools that have experienced few or no covid cases makes no sense. Shutting down all in-person schooling is an assault on parents and

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  • As Federal Covid Aid Dried Up, Hunger Soared in New York City, Report Shows

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    Emergency food offerings (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Many New Yorkers have become less certain about securing their next meal during the economic crisis wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, and the situation has worsened since federal aid evaporated this summer, a new study shows.

    In September and October, almost a third of New York City residents had visited a food pantry in the previous 12 months, compared with roughly one in eight at the beginning of the year, according to a ...

  • ‘It’s the Best Thing for Him’: Many Parents of Color Choose to Send Their Children Back to School Buildings

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    Children at school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    While parents of color have been less likely to send their children into New York City school buildings when they reopened amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, thousands of Black, Hispanic, and Asian students recently completed their first month of blended learning, which includes at least one day per week of in-person school.

    When nearly all public school buildings

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  • City Says Medical Supply Stockpile Nearly Complete; Healthcare Workers Wonder If It'll Be Enough

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    Supplies arrive at a hospital (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City is a "few weeks" away from securing a 90-day stockpile of medical personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, a project the mayor announced in April as part of a vow to be better prepared for a potential second wave of COVID-19 and other emergencies. But some elected officials and the New York nurses union are questioning the formula behind the 90-day supply benchmarks and whether the stockpile will be adequate for hospitals

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  • Forum Offers Ideas from Other Cities for Rebuilding New York

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    An uphill effort to recover in New York (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As New York City continues to recover and rebuild after the devastation of the COVID-19 outbreak, which had immense health and economic consequences, ideas are being offered to ensure a city that is more inclusive, creative, and responsive.

    During a recent event hosted by the Center for an Urban Future, a leading nonprofit think tank offering many ideas for the city’s short- and long-term recovery, panelists offered suggestions for New York City that have been

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  • A Healthcare Worker’s Plea: No Matter Where You Live, Go Vote

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    Frontline healthcare workers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Skipping family gatherings. Skipping necessary doctor’s appointments. Missing school. Missing time with friends. Losing jobs. And the deaths of loved ones. At this point, COVID-19 has affected every single American in one way or another.

    As a frontline healthcare worker, I have seen firsthand the damage this pandemic has caused. While the death toll has surpassed 225,000 in the United States alone and hospitalizations begin to rise again, I have gone to

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  • New York City Needs a Resiliency Plan that Creates Green Jobs for New Yorkers

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    Solar panels rendering (image: Mayor's Office) 


    Eight years ago today, October 29, Hurricane Sandy struck the Eastern seaboard, causing severe flooding and power loss throughout New York City and the entire region. Sandy was very personal to me and my family as I know it was to many of you and yours. Friends nearby in Brooklyn lost their homes and businesses, and one even lost her life. I was honored when President Obama asked me to lead a federal task force to ensure we recovered and rebuilt stronger. The Sandy effort showed how strong and resilient

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  • Why the Science Around COVID-19 Keeps Changing So Much and a Vaccine Can’t Be Rushed

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    Covid testing in New York (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    We are now more than halfway through October, it’s been seven months since New York State went on PAUSE and President Trump continues to tout unrealistic ideals of the speed scientists will be able to create a vaccine for COVID-19. In the first presidential debate and since, Trump continues to show a true misunderstanding of scientific research. In order to make good choices to avoid more covid spikes and prolonged suffering, allow students to return to school safely, and more fully resume life before

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