Coronavirus Update From New York City: January 21, 2021

Yesterday was a joyful day for those who supported President Biden, and a mournful day for the few who support Former President Trump. However, the reality still remains that COVID-19 is a major concern, even though we have recently seen a new President of the United States sworn in.

In the United States, we learned on Tuesday that we have surpassed 400,000 deaths. That is a sobering number, and there’s no way to spin it. I remember when many of us were shocked of the talk of the potential for 100,000 deaths from the pandemic, and now we are at a death toll four times that.

In my neighborhood, the COVID positivity rate has ticked down slightly, but has remained way too high for comfort. The positivity rate is now just over 13% in my zip code, which is down from the 15% or so we were at as of last week but nevertheless uncomfortably high. Furthermore, data seems to indicate that Jamaica Hospital in Queens–the hospital closest to where I live, continues to be under immense stress from COVID-19 patients.

Also of concern is that, at least according to our mayor, New York City is going to run out of COVID vaccines by the end of this week.[1] We are now to the point that New York City is canceling vaccine appointments due to the shortages.[2] So that is concerning, particularly for those vulnerable to experiencing severe consequences from the virus.

The one sliver of hope is that the Biden administration will employ the Defense Production Act in order to ensure a quicker vaccine rollout.[3] Seeing the impacts of the Defense Production Act on vaccine distribution in New York City, and nationwide, cannot come soon enough.[4]


[1] https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2021/01/19/nyc-will-run-out-of-vaccines-by-friday–forcing-appointment-cancellations–de-blasio-says

[2] https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2021/01/20/vaccine-appointments-cancelled-in-new-york-city

[3] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/live-blog/2021-01-21-covid-live-updates-vaccine-news-n1255115/ncrd1255206#liveBlogHeader

[4] You can read an explanation of the Defense Production Act here: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/defense-production-act