Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

public health

public health

  • holds bor press

    Mayor de Blasio & company make an announcement (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    What is going on at Rikers Island? As former physicians on Rikers Island and in other city jails, we have been horrified to hear of the unsafe, unhygienic, violent, and deadly conditions there. Over 12 people have died this year alone. To prevent more suffering and death, courts need to release thousands of people immediately and to stop sending more people in.

    Despite limitations associated with the jail setting, we worked hard to provide excellent medical

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  • carlina rivera hh

    City Council Member Carlina Rivera (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    October 1, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Carlina Rivera on Hospitals Oversight & More

    City Council Member Carlina Rivera, a Manhattan Democrat who chairs the Council's Committee on Hospitals, joined the show to discuss two recent hearings she chaired, including one on the city's covid vaccine program, her upcoming legislative priorities, her bid to become the next City Council Speaker, and more.

    Listen to the

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  • 1 signs legis

    Then-Gov. Cuomo signs legislation (photo: Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    In the aftermath of the highest number of overdose deaths recorded in New York State in a single year, advocates and substance use treatment providers are calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to sign what they call a crucial piece of legislation to reverse the trend. Without the new governor’s signature, they say, the state’s recently-established two-tiered substance use treatment system, with greater barriers to access for lower-income New Yorkers, will continue and

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  • mpo gov rep

    NYC rats are a problem (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City is inundated with rats! Dirty, dangerous, destructive rats that are also very aggressive. The phrase “Brazen as a New York City rat” has a solid foundation in reality. Mostly we tolerate rats because we think there’s nothing much to be done about them. A few traps, some poison, maybe a new garbage can, but, typically, not much beyond such meager

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  • rights stands rep

    Gov. Hochul leads a press conference on abortion rights (photo: Don Pollard/Governor’s Office)


    In response to the recent ban in Texas and upcoming Supreme Court case, Governor Kathy Hochul declared New York ...

  • phd hold elec

    Mayor de Blasio's 'recovery budget' was helped by federal aid (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Since the March passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the nation's most recent pandemic-era stimulus package, de Blasio administration officials have been crafting a plan to use close to $5.9 billion in direct federal funding to New York City government.

    A new report from the de Blasio administration, required by the federal stimulus

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  • schools chance porter

    Back to school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    We’ve all seen the news lately. It’s rife with images of chaotic school board meetings and rallies starring adults engaged in tantrums, which we would never tolerate from our children. Every parent wants what they believe is best for their children. However, if we want them to get back to school safely, the adults in the metaphorical room need to stop fighting and adhere to public health guidelines.

    As health care professionals, our message is that children should safely

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  • 1 low income long term covid

    New Yorkers lined up for food (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    Newly-released survey data confirms lower-income New Yorkers were far more worried about the long-term effects of the pandemic and its economic fallout than their moderate- and higher-income counterparts after the pandemic's first and most devastating peak last spring.

    According to a study conducted by Community Service Society -- a nonprofit advocating for

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  • time for reset

    New York City food (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    In less than six months, a new Mayor and dozens of City Council members will join their returning colleagues to chart a course for governing the city in the coming years. Even sooner, a new New York Governor will need to determine her priorities. While policy options on public safety, education, and restoring the economy have attracted headlines, food policy is another challenge that requires attention from our elected officials.

    As the Delta variant jeopardizes the city’s public health, the

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  • vaccine hearing covid

    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Health Chair Mark Levine (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    After weeks of flagging covid vaccine rates, ongoing racial disparities among the vaccinated, and the troubling spread of the Delta variant, Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking his first steps to impose more coercive vaccine policies in New York City. The mayor announced on Monday an upcoming mandate for all city workers to be vaccinated or subject to weekly covid testing, while encouraging private sector actors to institute their own

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  • Gotham Gazette: Amid rising overdoses, mental health and harm reduction support is more important

    The Mayor at an overdose prevention event (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    I know what it’s like to be on the front lines of an infectious disease. I launched my career in harm reduction in the 1980s, at the height of the HIV epidemic. Just like with HIV, the fallout from COVID-19 is not limited to the lives we’ve lost to the infection itself—there are ripple effects that will be felt long after our city fully re-opens.

    This time, it’s the twin tragedy of the

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  • brave heart bk

    Fast food drinks (photo: @brraveheart)


    A fast-food combo meal, perfect for lunch in a New York minute, right? Not so fast. A recent study of fast-food chain restaurants found that the default drink size included with combo meals at most restaurants contains more than an entire day’s worth of added sugars.

    With New Yorkers resorting to fast food out of convenience or necessity due to limited access to healthier options, it becomes an issue of public health and equity

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  • 1 primary voters public

    Vaccination (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    For the first time in more than a year, New Yorkers are starting to see a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. The city is finally leaping toward the promised “new normal” as basketball fans flood arenas and restaurant patrons spill into the streets with fewer worries about masking up and keeping distance. When our next mayor and City Council take office in January, we’re optimistic that the covid pandemic will be truly behind us.

    But for many New Yorkers, the health

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  • queens applaud staff

    Emergency department (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office )


    As New York finally begins to lift health restrictions related to the novel coronavirus, the next generation of leaders need to take the necessary steps to ensure that when, not if, another pandemic comes to our communities we are better prepared. Unfortunately, this time around too many communities of color, like in Southeast Queens, lacked the necessary resources and infrastructure to effectively handle this crisis; we cannot let that happen again.

    Fortunately

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  • greet workers avail

    Taking on covid (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    By now, every New Yorker knows someone who has been infected with COVID-19 or has had it themselves. Since the start of this pandemic, over 800,000 New York City residents have had a positive test. And a year into the fight against this disease, we know that the battle is far from over, as New Yorkers grapple with the effects of ...

  • gov cuomo vaccine

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


    Governor Cuomo has worked hard to cultivate a national reputation as the Emmy Award-winning hero of his own covid reality show – so why is he stripping federal resources from hospitals, clinics, and health centers on the front lines of the crisis? 

    Last year, the Cuomo Administration included a provision in the state budget that would cost safety net providers an estimated $154 million in federal resources the first year and $1.5 billion over five years. This Albany accounting

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  • 5x5mashup 1

    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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  • police academy a

    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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  • mayor slow vaccine

    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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  • Cuomo state prison walkthrough

    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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  • rich univ city

    Supplies arrive in Brooklyn (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Every neighborhood in New York City has been touched in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. But due to longstanding disparities in our health-care system and structural economic inequality, communities of color have been more susceptible to the virus and more vulnerable to its consequences. 

    One of these consequences was the distant and dysfunctional health-care supply system, which left safety net hospitals like One Brooklyn Health, which serve and employ the city’s most vulnerable, without

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  • aramark redcross robin

    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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    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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  • may covid19test

    Mayor de Blasio gets tested (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography)


    As New York City public health officials try to get a handle on a series of COVID-19 “hot spots,” they lack the tools to know exactly how the voluntary testing data they collect skews the true prevalence of the virus, both in communities of concern and city-wide. In the absence of randomized testing, public health officials rely on the results of voluntary testing, an especially challenging process given new evidence some New Yorkers are organizing to game the system against that weakness.

    New York's

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  • science policy topics in nyc

    Mapping community concerns that science can help address


    Any true New Yorker knows the question is not if New York City will rebuild from COVID-19, but how and when. In order to genuinely build back a better, more sustainable, equitable, and resilient city there has never been more need for effective partnerships between communities, government, and experts. 

    Science for New York aims to overcome these challenges on a local scale in New York City. We are scientists who volunteer our skills to translate technical and analytical

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