Cuomo Tries to Bully His Way Out of Nursing Home Scandal + Vaccination Disparities Persist

A note to our readers: The Thorn has switched from Mailchimp to Substack so we can keep delivering you local New York politics news from a socialist perspective with fewer administrative costs. Starting in January 2022 our new issues can be at along with how to subscribe. This website will serve as an archive of our past issues.

Local News: 

  • Federal prosecutors and the FBI are investigating how Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration e  handled data on COVID-related deaths in the state’s nursing homes. Mayor Bill de Blasio has also called for an independent panel to investigate the Cuomo administration.
  • State legislators are pushing to strip Cuomo of some of his emergency powers granted early in the pandemic.
  • After Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa seemed to acknowledge on a Zoom call with State legislators that the administration withheld data about COVID-related deaths, Cuomo  tried to contain the story by privately threatening Assembly Member Ron Kim (D-Flushing), telling him “You haven’t seen my wrath.” Kim, a persistent critic of the governor’s handling of the nursing home crisis, is only the latest in Albany to receive private threats from Cuomo.  
  • Recently released City data reveal that zip codes with higher proportions of white residents are more highly vaccinated than those with more people of color. The disparities are particularly severe in areas with high proportions of Black residents.
  • Despite using sites like Yankee Stadium to vaccinate Bronx residents, many essential workers who live and work just blocks from the stadium cannot get an appointment. 
  • The MTA announced that it will be able to avoid major service cuts for the next two years thanks to federal aid and better-than-expected tax revenue. But the agency still faces an $8 billion deficit over the next four years.
  • A new report from StreetEasy finds that the pandemic-induced rent dips are concentrated in wealthy areas, and have not improved housing affordability for essential workers.
  • Despite last year’s promises that police in schools would be removed as part of the plan to reduce the NYPD budget by $1 billion, these officers have not been removed from schools. The NYPD has been discussing hiring two new classes of nearly 475 police officers—or school safety agents—in March and June, which would cost about $20 million.
  • State lawmakers introduced a bill that would allow non-profit violence interruption groups to access federally-allocated funds.
  • Police reform advocates say the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group (SRG), created in 2015 to ostensibly fight terrorism, is laregly responsible for the NYPD’s recent assaults on peaceful protests.
  • Amazon and New York State Attorney General Letitia James are in a legal battle over the State’s ability to require the online retailer to adopt worker safety requirements.
  • Fifty organizations sent a letter to the Governor, Assembly Speaker, and State Senate Majority Leader, urging them to pass the Invest in Our New York Act.


  • New York City’s largest union, 1199SEIU, endorsed Maya Wiley for mayor. The union, which represents healthcare workers, backed Bill de Blasio early on in his 2013 mayoral bid.
  • Mayor de Blasio held a closed-door meeting with union leaders in which he expressed support for Eric Adams’ mayoral candidacy, skepticism around Andrew Yang’s run, and measured support for Scott Stringer and Maya Wiley.
  • Employees of Council Member Robert Cornegy (CD-36, Bed-Stuy), who has currently raised the most money in the race for Brooklyn Borough President, have accused the politician of soliciting campaign donations from staff and campaigning while on the job. Both are violations of City ethics laws. 
  • Kings County Politics interviewed DSA-endorsed City Council candidate Michael Hollingsworth about land use, gun violence, and public green spaces.
  • Jacobin interviewed State Senator Julia Salazar about the New York Legislature’s attempts to check Governor Cuomo’s power.

Contribute to The Thorn

We welcome submissions of in-depth articles, comics and illustrations from anyone in DSA. Whether you want to write for us or just know of stories we should be covering, please get in touch.

Subscribe to The Thorn

The Thorn is a weekly update on what's happening in local New York politics from a socialist perspective. Please sign up with us to receive an email every Monday morning.