Google pledges to upload millions to NYC for COVID-19 vaccines and economic recovery

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a logo of Google in Zurich
A man walks past a logo of Google in front of at an office building in Zurich, Switzerland July 1, 2020.
REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

As New York City’s vaccination efforts approach the milestone of four million doses, Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed a much needed push from none other than Google on Tuesday.

The tech giant has agreed to pledge $250 million in infrastructure and $1 million for vaccination advertisement, expanding their already large footprint in the city with a priority towards public housing.

“We’re really happy about that, really appreciative that means more and more jobs for New Yorkers and will help create a recovery for all of us. This kind of commitment to New York City is powerful, especially since we know the tech community has been crucial to what makes New York City great,” said de Blasio.

Google was the first major tech company headquartered in the city to send employees home and mandate work from home until July 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has also notedly bought up four expensive pieces of real estate over the past few years in the Meatpacking District, Hudson Square, Chelsea Market, and Pier 57 in Manhattan, reported Curbed. 

Karen DeSalvo, who is the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at Google Health, said that the company wants to do their part to protect its employees and their families based there and get the word out about vaccines.

“We’re committed to making sure that New York is safe, and we do our part to help the city reach the 5 million mark,” said DeSalvo. “In addition to masking and other safety measures vaccines are essential in this phase of the pandemic.”

DeSalvo said they’re giving the $750,000 ad grant to the city to help ensure people have the adequate information to get vaccinated along with a $330,000 Google.org grant to set up a community vaccination center targeting public housing and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments at Chelsea-Elliott and Fulton Houses.  

“As someone with years of public health experience, I also know how important it is to meet people where they are,” said DeSalvo.

DeSalvo said that they are also partnering with the Hudson Guild to offer translation services, help with appointment set up, and with education resources.

De Blasio said that there is much less hesitancy from New Yorkers to get the vaccine than there has been in the past few months.

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