Dr. Oxiris Barbot resigned as New York City's health commissioner today, stating Mayor Bill de Blasio's complete failure in handling the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for her departure. This according to Fox News.
De Blasio appointed Dr. Dave A. Choksi as Barbot's replacement after receiving her resignation letter.
Barbot said that she was disappointed to leave her post "during the most critical public health crisis in our lifetime," but "that the Health Department's incomparable disease control expertise was not used to the degree it could have been."
She noted that New York City has "world renowned" experts in the fields of "epidemiology, surveillance and response work." These experts, she noted, have been relegated to the background of the crisis.
Barbot cited de Blasio's failures in contact tracing, having removed the responsibility for that project from the Health Department and reassigning it to the public hospital system.
Additionally, there was disagreement between Barbot and de Blasio when he demanded that she apologize to the NYPD for disrespecting them. Barbot noted that the Health Department had been unable to supply the NYPD with a the requested number of N-95 face masks, and that "this regrettably led to an arguement in which words were exchanged between a police official and myself."
It was after this that the NYPD called for her resignation. Barbot noted that she apologized then, and continued to apologize, stating that she has the "utmost respect for our police department."
De Blasio has been roundly criticized for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in New York, the massive increase in crime, and his inability to put the city's needs ahead of his own pet projects during this volatile and difficult time.