CUNY chancellor joins Mayor Adams’ COVID-19 recovery task force



Judah Duke, Business Editor

New York City Mayor Eric Adams created the Health Equity Task Force and COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable on Feb. 17, which added CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez to its group of 40 members.

“I am pleased to serve on Mayor Adam’s COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Task Force, representing CUNY’s community of nearly 300,000 students, staff and faculty in 25 campuses and offices throughout the five boroughs and help his administration chart a prosperous and more equitable future for our beloved City,” Matos Rodríguez wrote.

The new commission plans on playing the long game, hoping to implement plans that will solidify New York’s aggregate response to COVID-19 for years to come.

Serving since 2019, Matos Rodríguez is the eighth educator and the first person of color to be appointed to the chancellor position. He has overseen several different initiatives to combat health disparity in New York City over the years.

Some aims of the CUNY Institute for Health Equity at Lehman College to counteract these disparities include workforce development, promoting research in health disparities, student inclusion and outreach, dissemination and communication measures.

“As an integral New York institution, CUNY is always ready to do its part in rebuilding New York City’s post-pandemic economic recovery,” Matos Rodríguez said. “I’m grateful to the co-chairs and members for bringing their time and ideas to the city as we work towards this shared goal.”

Matos Rodríguez was picked among a diversified set of practitioners and policymakers from across several distinct sectors.

Also on the task force is Andrew Rigie, who grew up working for his family’s third-generation bakery in Queens and heads the NYC Hospitality Alliance.

Another member is Lisa Sorin, who has spent the better part of two decades working to improve the marketing and merchant education around Westchester Square. She now serves as president of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.

The announcement for this new committee has arrived among others from the new mayoral office, including plans to phase out the city-wide use of mask mandates, vaccine passports and other height-pandemic measures.

“New Yorkers did their job, vaccinated, boosters, taking testing. Now, I need them to do one more job, go back to their job,”Adams said in a press conference on Feb. 16 following a budget presentation. Let’s get our city up and operating.”