Andrew Yang asks 'can you imagine' working from home in a two-bedroom apartment with kids

Brendan McDermid/ReutersDemocratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s campaign laid off staff on Wednesday.
  • Ahead of an increasingly likely New York City mayoral run, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang gave an interview to the New York Times where he addressed living outside of the Big Apple during much of the pandemic.
  • Yang and his family have been spending time in a Hudson Valley home the tech entrepreneur bought five years ago.
  • “We live in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan,” Yang told the Times. “And so, like, can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?”
  • Online backlash came swiftly, with some describing the comments as tone deaf given the situation many New Yorkers have been stuck in since March.
  • “Over the last year I’ve spent my time just about evenly across NYC, where my kids and special needs son are enrolled in school, upstate, so my kids could spend more time outside in the depths of the first wave, and in Georgia, where I’m proud to have worked day and night to elect my friends Reverend Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the Senate,” Yang said in a statement to Insider.
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Andrew Yang addressed his living situation in an interview with the New York Times published Monday.

Ahead of an increasingly likely New York City mayoral run following a filing made with the city board of elections and the creation of a campaign bank account — which a source familiar with the move described to Insider as a “next step” despite “no official decision” — Yang explained why he has been out of the city during stretches of the pandemic.

“We live in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan,” Yang told the Times. “And so, like, can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?”

Yang has a son on the autism spectrum, and he and his wife Evelyn have spoken publicly about the challenges posed by the pandemic with getting the proper resources absent in-person schooling.

Since March, Yang and his family have been living in a house he bought five years ago in New Paltz, a college town in the Hudson Valley.

Yang conducted the interview from New Paltz, and his comments on working from home in a more cramped apartment drew criticism online from people pointing out how this is not a choice for many New Yorkers. One such critic included New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has already declared his mayoral candidacy.

In a statement to Insider early Monday afternoon, Yang explained his comments on working from home, citing his son’s special needs and why he enrolled his boys in school upstate.

“Over the last year I’ve spent my time just about evenly across NYC, where my kids and special needs son are enrolled in school, upstate, so my kids could spend more time outside in the depths of the first wave, and in Georgia, where I’m proud to have worked day and night to elect my friends Reverend Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the Senate,” Yang said.

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