12 APRIL 22, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Cures for inequality
It’s no surprise that a number of
candidates running to replace Bill
de Blasio as mayor of New York City
have made health care reform a key
campaign issue amid the COVID-19
The health crisis, as de Blasio, Gov.
Andrew Cuomo and others have pointed
out, exposed long-festering inequalities
across the city, particularly the lack of
quality health care services available
in low-income areas and communities
This disparity led to deadly consequences
during the pandemic — with
Black New Yorkers dying of COVID-19 at
twice the rate of white New Yorkers, and
Latinx New Yorkers succumbing to the
virus at 1.5 times the rate of white residents.
And if we do nothing to close that
disparity in the wake of this pandemic,
then it will be the most ignominious,
shameful of failures by our leaders.
Over the past week, two mayoral candidates
have come out with their plans
to cure some of the harmful inequality
in our midst.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s plan
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Community leaders call for additional supply of the COVID-19 vaccines in southeast Queens neighborhoods.
QNS fi le photo
seeks to consolidate the city’s health
commissioner and the head of the
NYC Health + Hospitals public health
care system into one offi ce known as
the chief health offi cer. It also seeks to
greatly expand available health care
services across the city, and recruit
teams of medical staff who will be ready
to address future pandemics.
Meanwhile, civil rights attorney
Maya Wiley offered a more issuespecifi
c plan to address another terrible,
shameful inequality in New York:
maternal mortality. New York City has
one of the highest maternal mortality
rates in the country — and again, Black
and Latino mothers disproportionately
suff er more post-childbirth deaths.
Wiley wants to expand prenatal
care for expecting moms and midwife
services to help eliminate the complications
of pregnancy and save young
The costs of these reforms will
undoubtedly be substantial, and some
might well ask if the city is fi t to truly
address and resolve our health inequalities.
The answer, however, is that the
existence of the inequalities themselves
are evidence that the status quo and the
free market have failed New Yorkers —
and now the government must step up.
It will take years, it will cost millions
in taxpayer dollars, but it must be done.
Nothing is more important than your
health — and our next mayor, whoever
it is, must ensure that every New Yorker
gets to live their best, healthy life, regardless
of their background.