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Company Formerly Known as “Ambulnz” Is Raking In a Contract Worth Up To $432 Million From Eric Adams to Mislead, Mistreat Migrants

An urgent care company with no experience working in shelters wins a lucrative no-bid contract. Sound familiar?

9:26 AM EDT on July 31, 2023

(Hell Gate)

Remember "Ambulnz," the cringingly-named private ambulance and urgent care company that began showing up on city streets in the late 2010s? Well, like any good healthcare startup during the deep, dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company pivoted to lucrative government contracts for COVID-19 testing, and then used that pivot to rebrand and go public on the stock market under the name DocGo. (And that was only after the company was sued by medical contractors during the height of the pandemic for allegedly lying about pay and essentially keeping them imprisoned). 

When government funding for pandemic-related services dried up, DocGo (just as cringe a name as "Ambulnz"), pivoted once again—this time to providing shelter for migrants in upstate New York. (If that sounds familiar, it's because another urgent care company, MedRite, did the same thing, with pretty disastrous results for migrants, as Hell Gate reported earlier this month.) 

So how has DocGo done so far? Not great!

According to a New York Times report over the weekend, DocGo, whose president is a former contestant on "The Apprentice," (yes, everything is connected) was hired by City Hall in early May to help Mayor Eric Adams with his plan to bus migrants upstate to help alleviate the crowding in the city's shelter system. The company was given a no-bid contract worth as much as $432 million.

In exchange, DocGo and their counterparts in the administration reportedly lied to migrants about where their buses were going, misled them about their working status and their asylum cases, and confined them to their hotels.

"It’s fake," one asylum-seeker told the Times about a made-up DocGo document that the company touted as a residency permit. "It’s useless."

The company also didn't coordinate with local authorities, who were willing to lend assistance to the company. Security guards lorded over migrants, threatening them with violence, and restraining their ability to talk to the press. Similar accusations have been lodged against private security contractors in New York City's makeshift shelters. 

It's unclear whether DocGo will earn the full amount of the $432 contract, because its terms haven't been released to the public. City Hall hasn't released any details about the contract, nor has it sent the contract to the Comptroller's office, as is standard practice for accounting for the city's spending. 

Through all of this, Eric Adams has continued his support of DocGo. He even made an appearance at DocGo's investor conference in June. 

"If you don’t have docs on the go, then you have a retro thinking of health care,” Adams told investors. 

Read on for some more trouble our mayor has been getting into: 

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