Gotham Gazette

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coronavirus

coronavirus

  • Amid Pandemic, New Yorkers Challenge Civil Summonses at 100,000 Remote Hearings

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    Government is happening remotely (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, or OATH, has reached the milestone of conducting 100,000 hearings by phone since the coronavirus outbreak forced widespread shutdowns of many in-person activities, according to an announcement from the office.

    This makes it the leading court in the nation for hearing summons cases remotely during the pandemic, the announcement states, with “more cases in real-time

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  • De Blasio Warns of Cuomo Budget Moves, Outlines Albany Agenda in Final State Legislative Hearing

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    Mayor de Blasio testifying remotely (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded to state legislators on Thursday to protect New York City from hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts and cost shifts in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget for the next fiscal year, warning that the damage could be worse if federal stimulus aid is not delivered on time.  

    In his annual, and final, appearance before the state Legislature to testify about the governor’s budget plan and the

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  • Biden Plan Gives New York State a Two-Year Reprieve from a Damaged Budget

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    Joe Biden and Andrew Cuomo (photo: governor's office)


    President Biden’s stimulus package is proceeding down the legislative path in Congress. This is great news for New York residents and for New York governments’ beleaguered budgets. The $1.9 trillion plan includes $350 billion for State and Local Governments, Tribes, and Territories.

    The monies will likely be apportioned in a manner similar to the earlier stimulus package,

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  • How Many More Covid Deaths Behind Bars Before State Leaders Act?

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    Governor Cuomo at a state prison (photo: governor's office)


    For nearly a year, we’ve borne witness to the devastating effects of COVID-19. We wept at the sight of fellow New Yorkers entering hospitals, and at the images of trucks storing our deceased neighbors. But there are tens of thousands of New Yorkers whose pandemic traumas have, by design, been kept out of our sight. They are the hardest hit and the least protected. These are the New Yorkers incarcerated in jail and prison cages across the state, and our state leaders are failing

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  • New York's Arts and Cuisine are the Soul of Our City, We Must Do More to Revitalize Them

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    A darkened theatre (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic has been detrimental to New York’s economy, with people losing jobs, businesses shuttering, and our city government accumulating astronomical deficits.

    While city and state governments continue to roll out recovery plans, industries that keep getting overlooked, like the arts and dining, have been the backbone of neighborhoods on the West Side of Manhattan.

    Since the start of the pandemic, more than 1,000 New York City restaurants have been

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  • 'A Recovery For All Of Us,' De Blasio Pledges in His Final State of the City

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his State of the City speech last year with a plan to “save our city,” he couldn’t have imagined how prescient his choice of words would be. With less than a year left in office, the mayor now faces his most daunting challenge yet in attempting to usher in New York City’s revival from the devastation wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, in his final State of the City address, he sought to address that task, releasing a broad recovery plan to jumpstart the economy,

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  • Democratic Mayoral Candidates Discuss Addressing City’s Health Care Gaps After Covid

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    Top (l-r): Carlos Menchaca, Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Loree Sutton, Maya Wiley,
    Bottom (l-r): Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Ray McGuire, Andrew Yang


    Eleven Democratic candidates for mayor appeared at a virtual forum on Tuesday focused on how they would shape health policy to be more equitable in New York City, especially amidst and in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought the city’s health care infrastructure under considerable strain and has had a starkly unequal racial impact. The pandemic has thrust the issues of

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  • Despite Assurances, De Blasio Yet to Release Recovery Plan for City's Devastated Economy

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    Mayor de Blasio at his September announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    New York City went into partial lockdown in March as the coronavirus ravaged the population, bringing a once booming economy to its knees and leaving the city teetering on the edge. The immense flock of tourists ground to a halt; the flow of suburban commuters reduced to a trickle; an untold number of residents fled the five boroughs; “non-essential” businesses were forced to shutter at least temporarily; and people were told to stay inside but for essentials. Many thousands fell

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: What the De Blasio Administration Wants from the Biden Administration

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    January 20, 2021 - Max & Murphy Podcast: What the De Blasio Administration Wants from the Biden Administration

    Bill Neidhardt, press secretary for Mayor de Blasio, joined the show to discuss the de Blasio administration's priorities when it comes to the new Biden administration in Washington.

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

  • Why Didn't New York's Hardest Hit Communities Receive Covid Vaccine Priority?

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    The covid vaccine (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic devastated Black, Latino, and immigrant communities across New York City at disproportionate levels last spring and since. Some lawmakers are now asking why the same populations were not included in vaccine priority plans crafted by the state and city.

    At a January 12 City Council oversight hearing on the de Blasio administration's roll-out of the first batches of the covid vaccine, members of the Council’s committees on hospitals and health asked the city's top

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  • De Blasio Releases $92.3 Billion Preliminary Budget for 2022 Fiscal Year

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    De Blasio in 2017 (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio released a $92.28 billion preliminary budget for the 2022 Fiscal Year on Thursday, expressing optimism that the city will receive additional federal funds but warning of cuts from the state.

    The mayor’s budget plan for next fiscal year, which begins July 1, is more than $4 billion larger than the budget that was adopted last year for the current fiscal year, and reflects a nearly $20 billion increase from the last budget he inherited from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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  • Cuomo Focuses on Economic Revival in Second 2021 State of the State Speech

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    Gov. Cuomo during his second 2021 SOTS speech (photo: governor's office)


    In his second of four planned State of the State speeches this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday outlined a plan to revive New York’s struggling economy, get New Yorkers back to work, and to prepare them for jobs that adapt to a post-covid future.

    In his first speech on Monday, Cuomo presented a broad

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  • Cuomo Launches 2021 State of the State Agenda with Focus on Covid Recovery, Future of New York Economy

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    Governor Cuomo delivers his annual State of the State speech (photo: Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke like an army general rallying his troops as he delivered his first in a series of 2021 State of the State speeches on Monday, from the War Room of the state Capitol building in a virtual address necessitated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Befitting its setting, Cuomo’s speech was rife with metaphors of a state at war as he outlined a vision for a “post-covid reconstruction” of a “suffering” New

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  • De Blasio Excuses for Slow Vaccine Rollout Contradict Prior City Statements of Readiness

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    Mayor de Blasio vaccine promises (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Three weeks after New York City received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, and more than five weeks after officials knew when they were coming, only a third of the half-million doses had been dolled out, raising questions about why the city wasn't more prepared to step into "the light at the end of the tunnel."

    That has been a favorite phrase of Mayor Bill de Blasio since he signaled the city was on the verge of receiving the life-saving, pandemic-ending treatment over a month ago.

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  • Community Health Groups Must Be Part of New York City’s COVID-19 Reckoning

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    Community clinics must be reconsidered (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    For generations, health care has been vastly different for the haves and have nots, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the divide that was already so apparent to communities of color in New York. 

    Having symptoms of the virus myself in the early months I went to Lenox Hill hospital, farther from where I live because my local hospital was already filled with patients. Now, keep in mind, all private hospitals receive government funding, but their internal

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  • New York State Has the Resources to Halt Billions in Scheduled Budget Cuts and Reset Next Year’s Framework

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    The Governor and Budget Director (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Everyone is bracing for another difficult year, including economically, in the City and the State of New York. The financial difficulties presented by the pandemic are plain to see, including massive unemployment, a state of near emergency for the mass transit system, the decimation of small businesses, and so much more on top of the staggering loss of life.

    But the financial outlook for the City and State is not as bleak as first thought. There are still difficult challenges

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  • The Mayor Must Immediately Create a Just Reentry System for Those Leaving City Jails

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    The mayor at a pre-pandemic jail to jobs (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic has served as another reminder that New York is a tale of two cities. The wealthy and elite were largely able to sequester themselves safely during the height of the pandemic and resume city life once infection rates went down. Many may again be removing themselves as cases rise. But the most vulnerable New Yorkers are still left without basic supports and services.

    This is especially true for people released from city jails and

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  • ‘Forsaken Land:’ City and State Officials Mum on Covid Vaccination Plans for Incarcerated New Yorkers and Correction Officers

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    Gov. Cuomo visits a prison, pre-pandemic (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    While New York continues to expand the circle of groups eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, people living and working in correctional facilities are being left out of the equation, despite early commitments from the city's Health Department and the heightened risk of infection in those settings.

    With a limited supply of the vaccine, public health officials at the state and city levels have been developing a plan to prioritize populations that are most exposed

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  • More Covid Special Elections are Coming; Let’s Make Them as Safe as Possible

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    Voting during a pandemic (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Governor Cuomo just shut down indoor dining in New York City for the second time this year. Hospitalization rates and COVID-19 positivity rates across the five boroughs continue to soar, and the Mayor is warning that a full shutdown is imminent.

    Earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that "we could start to see things start to get really bad in the middle of January, not only for New York state but for any state or city." Amid this dire backdrop, the City’s

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  • Support Mink Farmers, Don’t Attack Them, As They Work to Protect Their Animals from Covid Risk

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    Farmed mink peeking out of its nest box (Truth About Fur)


    Since it was learned that COVID-19 can pass from humans to mink, farmers in the United States have put in place strict biosecurity protocols to protect their animals, their families, and public health. But instead of supporting farmers through this difficult period, animal activists -- like Priscilla Feral, who wrote about "The Covid Mink Slaughter" in these pages last week -- are fanning fears that new mink-specific

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Senator Jamaal Bailey on the Albany Agenda and Leading the Bronx Democrats

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    State Senator Jamaal Bailey (photo: NY Senate)


    December 16, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Jamaal Bailey on the Albany Agenda and Leading the Bronx Democrats

    State Senator Jamaal Bailey of the Bronx joined the show to discuss his agenda, where the state may be headed in terms of solving its fiscal issues and helping struggling New Yorkers, and his leadership of the Bronx Democratic Party.

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

  • We Must Not Return to ‘Normal’: Seizing Our Opportunity to Rethink Health and Health Care in New York

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    Health care workers during covid (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered remarks at Riverside Church on the inequities in the Trump administration's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. He admirably stated that we must prioritize fairness and equity. Communities like many in the Bronx that have suffered the most because of this virus must not be left behind. But that commitment to leaving no community behind must also be applied to addressing the underlying issues that led to disproportionately negative outcomes for

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  • New York Must Not Exacerbate Disparities Again: Key Considerations for Equity in Covid Vaccination

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    Covid field site (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    There are many high-stakes questions to be sorted out in the design of the coming covid vaccination distribution program. But there’s one issue that’s not receiving enough attention: How can we design a plan that avoids exacerbating pre-existing racial inequities and instead meaningfully advances equity?

    It’s essential that we answer this question — now.

    Vaccine distribution will be the most complicated implementation challenge of this pandemic, even

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  • City's Black and Hispanic Youth Face Dire Need for Mental Health Care

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    Students back in school amid a pandemic (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects for children across New York City and State, as well as their families, like the loss of a loved one, economic distress, food insecurity, and the shutdown of school buildings, switch to remote learning, and lack of in-person social connections.

    During the first five months of the pandemic, an estimated 4,200 of 4 million children in the state lost a parent or caregiver to coronavirus, a rate of more than one out of every 1,000, according to a

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  • The Status of $6.5 Billion in Federal Covid Aid to New York City and State as End-of-Year Spending Deadline Looms

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


    New York City has spent its entire $1.4 billion allocation from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, a key portion of the federal CARES Act relief package that expires at the end of the month. The state government is far from spending its own, much larger allotment from the fund, but officials say it will identify eligible spending without having to return money to the federal government.

    Many other states and localities have been struggling to distribute the funding, wrangling with strict

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