The U.S. reaches President Joe Biden’s goal of getting at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot into 70% of American adults. The CDC reports that 50% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. Longtime AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka dies at age 72. State Attorney General Letitia James releases the results of a five-month investigation concluding that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women while in office. Cuomo denies the allegations as politicians, including President Biden, call for him to resign. Several district attorneys in the state initiate criminal investigations.
Cuomo eventually resigns at the end of the month and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is sworn in as governor of the state of New York, the first woman to hold the office. She later announces plans to run for governor after she finishes Cuomo’s term. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpasses 200 million worldwide. Mayor Bill de Blasio encourages New Yorkers to wear masks indoors amid rising COVID-19 cases. A magnitude 7.2 earthquake strikes Haiti on the Tiburon Peninsula. The earthquake causes over 2,200 deaths and over $1 billion in damage. Heavy rain and storms soon hit the island hindering recovery efforts.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams introduces legislation aimed at supporting maternal health and wellness and particularly targeted at reducing Black maternal mortality and pervasive maternal health disparities. The city begins enforcing the required proof of vaccination mandate at restaurants, bars, gyms and entertainment venues. Forbes magazine announces that R&B singer Rihanna’s net worth has topped $1 billion. Founder of R&B and funk band Kool & the Gang, Dennis Thomas, dies at age 70. The R. Kelly sex trafficking federal trial begins in Brooklyn. A City Council report finds Black women city employees make 2% less than white men. Data released from the 2020 Census reveals the nation’s white population declined for the first time in history. New York City’s population grew to 8.8 million. A 13-year-old boy is killed at Orchard Beach in the Bronx when he is struck by lightning. Eight people are wounded during a mass shooting in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn when two suspects open fire into a crowd of 100 to 150 people at the Eleanor Roosevelt Houses. On his final day in office, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issues clemency for 10 people. Several restaurant owners in the city ask a judge to block the city’s vaccine requirement citing that it would hurt their businesses. Hurricane Henri makes landfall in New York City as a Category 1 storm. The hurricane brings the city’s wettest hour on record with nearly two inches of rainfall in Central Park. On the night of the storm, “WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert” in Central Park is postponed due to lightning. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife Jacquline are hospitalized with COVID-19. Jackson is fully vaccinated while his wife is not due to a health condition. The two make a full recovery. President Biden authorizes 5,000 U.S. troops to be deployed in Afghanistan, as the Taliban seize all regional capitals except Kabul. The U.S. Senate votes 69-30 to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. City officials announced that all public school teachers and staff will be required to be vaccinated just weeks ahead of the new school year. Newly sworn-in Gov. Kathy Hochul announces she’s choosing Harlem State Sen. Brian Benjamin to serve as her lieutenant governor. Democrats in the U.S. Congress pass legislation strengthening the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Federal judges in multiple states stop the distribution of $4 billion to disadvantaged farmers (including Black farmers) claiming that it’s discriminatory against white farmers. Several civil rights organizations participate in the “March On for Voting Rights” in Washington, D.C. urging the passage of the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The FDA gives approval to the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds. The storm’s strength is compared to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005. A power surge halts half of the city’s subway system for several hours. Passengers on stuck trains walk on tracks to get out. The United States launches an airstrike killing the Islamic State member who is believed to have planned the Kabul airport bombings. Reggae artist Lee “Scratch” Perry dies at age 85.
The United States withdraws its remaining 2,500 troops from Afghanistan, ending its 20-year involvement in the War in Afghanistan. A grand jury declines to indict Texas police officer Jose Santos in the shooting death of Black, 22-year-old Joshua Feast, who was shot as he ran away after being confronted by officers.