NEW YORK, January 27, 2021 — People of color and those living in outer boroughs are bearing the brunt of the public health impact of COVID-19, even as their communities have the smallest share of New York City’s health care infrastructure. These were among the findings of a report released yesterday that New York City candidates responded to during a virtual mayoral forum on health equity.
Solutions proposed by the candidates included:
- Appointing an equity commissioner
- Working with community-based organizations more effectively
- Expanding telemedicine
- Shoring up the public hospital system and community health centers
- Working with unions to collectively bargain for better insurance options
- Zoning and financial incentives for health care infrastructure development
- Real-time tracking of where and when vaccinations are taking place
- And even an app to let employers and public accommodations know you have been vaccinated.
Several candidates touted their connections to Governor Cuomo and the Biden administration as proof that they can garner support for their plans.
The participating candidates included Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Carlos Menchaca, Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Loree Sutton, Maya Wiley, Ray McGuire and Andrew Yang. The moderator was Sheryl Huggins Salomon, Chief Communications Officer for the McSilver Institute. The primaries are on June 22, 2021 and voters will select their candidates using ranked choice voting.
Community Service Society, a co-host of the forum, released findings from their Third Unheard survey of low-income households in New York, noting that 36 percent of Latinx New Yorkers and 31 percent of Black New Yorkers said that they or a family member had been infected with the virus causing COVID-19, versus 20 percent of white New Yorkers. This came on the same day as a separate news report in Gotham Gazette that white people in the city have received 5 times as much vaccine doses as Black and Latinx people.
CSS also called attention to the inequitable distribution of hospital beds in the 5 boroughs: in 2020, Manhattan had 6.4 hospital beds per 1,000 residents, while the Bronx had only 2.7 hospital beds for the same number of residents.
The candidate’s responses are in the video above, and highlights were captured in live tweet threads by Politico New York’s health care reporter Amanda Eisenberg, embedded below. The forum was also co-hosted by Community Voices Heard, Make the Road NY and City and State New York.
Amanda Eisenberg, health care reporter for Politico New York, captured highlights from the forum live on Twitter. See Part 1 below or skip down to Part 2.
Part 1 of the Mayoral Forum — Coverage from Amanda Eisenberg
Part 2 of the Mayoral Forum — Coverage from Amanda Eisenberg