As buzz grows around Andrew Yang's possible run for mayor of New York City, he's also making headlines for a different story. The 45-year-old former presidential candidate, who's a dad to two young children, has a Manhattan apartment, but due to the pandemic, he's been living since March with his family in their second home in New Paltz, in upstate New York, per Business Insider. In an interview on Monday, Yang explained why that is. "Can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?" he said to the New York Times, which noted his recent various gigs as CNN commentator and podcast host, as well as his role as founder of a nonprofit. But per a Times article published later Monday, Yang is now being widely criticized for his comment, mainly by New Yorkers who don't have the luxury of an upstate retreat.
Politico calls it "one of the starkest examples of the income divide" in NYC, where residents who have the money were able to flee elsewhere, "while those lacking the means to relocate suffered the worst of the virus." The Times and MarketWatch round up reactions to Yang's remark, and they weren't terribly positive. "Can you imagine living like the voters?!" one commenter posted. Yang, meanwhile, has issued a statement to Business Insider, explaining his family wanted to make it easier for their autistic son to handle the pandemic by giving him more outdoor space, and that he's personally been spending time there, in the city, and in Georgia, where he campaigned for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. He also tells the Times he knows how lucky his family is to have such options, "which is why I've committed the past several years of my life to lifting up working families and eliminating poverty." (Read more Andrew Yang stories.)