New York Health Commissioner resigns, criticizes De Blasio’s handling of coronavirus

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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) – New York City Health Commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot resigned on Tuesday, expressing “deep disappointment” at Blasio’s administration handling of the COVID-19 crisis Barbot, in the resignation letter she delivered on Tuesday morning, said the expertise of the health ministry was not being sufficiently exploited.“I am leaving my post today with deep disappointment that during the most critical public health crisis of our lives, the Department of Health’s unparalleled disease control expertise was not utilized in the field. as far as it could have been. ”

His letter continued: “Our experts are known worldwide for their work in epidemiology, surveillance and response. The city would be well served by placing them at the strategic center of the response and not in the background. ”

De Blasio’s direct response to his criticisms was not immediately known. The mayor quickly appointed Dr Dave A. Chokshi to take over the post. He has held several leadership roles in public health in the city over the past six years.

In March, at the start of the pandemic, Barbot entered into a “heated exchange” with a senior NYPD officer.

The exchange took place when NYPD department chief Terence Monahan demanded half a million surgical masks for officers as the city worked to distribute health supplies to health workers.

However, part of the conversation was leaked, prompting some officials to call for Dr Oxiris Barbot’s dismissal.

Barbot issued the following statement in May:

“NYPD members fight valiantly every day to keep New Yorkers safe. In mid-March, I was asked to supply the NYPD with half a million N-95 masks, when masks and other PPE were woefully scarce. I wish we had enough to meet their full request and were ultimately able to partially meet what was requested. This unfortunately led to an argument in which words were exchanged between a policeman and myself. I apologized to this cop back then and today I apologize to the NYPD for leaving the slightest impression that I don’t have the utmost respect for our police department, which plays a role every day. essential role on the front lines to keep our city safe. ”

Now, with Barbot’s resignation, de Blasio wasted no time in appointing Chokshi to replace her.

Chokshi has served at the highest level of local, state, and federal health agencies, including NYC Health + Hospitals, where he has held leadership positions for the past six years. As the Chief Population Health Officer, Dr. Chokshi’s team has transformed the delivery of health care for more than one million New Yorkers. Most recently, he has been a key leader in the city’s COVID-19 response.

“Dr Chokshi has spent his career fighting for those who are too often left behind,” said de Blasio. “This has never been truer than during the COVID-19 pandemic, where he helped lead our city’s public health system in the face of unprecedented challenges. I know he is ready to lead the charge in our fight for a fairer and healthier city for all. ”

“I could not be more proud of our city’s response to a unique public health crisis,” said Dr Dave A. Chokshi, Commissioner of the Ministry of Health and Mental Hygiene. “I am honored to serve the people of New York with the extraordinary team of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Together, we will emerge from this pandemic as a stronger, fairer and healthier city. ”

Dr Chokshi was a White House Fellow in the Obama administration and was the senior health adviser to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. In 2016, President Obama appointed him to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.

Dr Chokshi will continue his clinical practice at Bellevue Hospital, where he has been caring for patients as a primary care physician since 2014. He trained at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania. Brigham & Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School. During his training, Dr Chokshi performed clinical work in Guatemala, Peru, Botswana, Ghana and India.

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