News

Politics & Policy

NYC Health Commissioner Resigns with ‘Deep Disappointment’ after Clashing with De Blasio

Dr. Oxiris Barbot speaks during a news conference for the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at City Hall in New York City, New York, March 17, 2020. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)

New York City health commissioner Oxiris Barbot resigned on Tuesday, after clashing with Mayor Bill de Blasio for months over the city’s coronavirus response.

De Blasio has a history of clashing with health department officials. In May of this year the mayor opted to place city hospitals in charge of coronavirus contact tracing efforts, despite the health department’s experience with contact tracing for AIDS, measles, and other outbreaks.

“I leave my post today with deep disappointment that during the most critical public health crisis in our lifetime, that the Health Department’s incomparable disease control expertise was not used to the degree it could have been,” Barbot wrote in her resignation letter. “Our experts are world renowned for their epidemiology, surveillance and response work. The city would be well served by having them at the strategic center of the response not in the background.”

At a Tuesday press conference, de Blasio did not directly say whether Barbot was fired.

“You’re going to have disagreements along the way,” de Blasio told reporters. “It had been clear certainly in recent days that it was time for a change, and really about how we move forward.”

Barbot was criticized by de Blasio after the New York Post reported on a March conversation she had with NYPD chief of department Terence Monahan, who was pushing to supply officers with masks.

“I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops,” Barbot told Monahan. “I need them for others.”

However, a health department official told the New York Times that police had tried to commandeer health department masks that were bound for hospitals, and that Barbot was responding to that attempt.

New York City has seen over 23,000 deaths and 231,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus. More than 2.5 percent of the city’s population has been infected.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Media

The Attacks on Judge Barrett Have Already Started

Some left-wingers aren’t waiting for Judge Amy Barrett to be nominated to the Supreme Court to start attacking her. The attacks over the last few days have been steeped in anti-Catholicism, other types of bigotry, and lazy error. A headline at the left-wing website Refinery29 called her “the Potential RBG ... Read More
Media

The Attacks on Judge Barrett Have Already Started

Some left-wingers aren’t waiting for Judge Amy Barrett to be nominated to the Supreme Court to start attacking her. The attacks over the last few days have been steeped in anti-Catholicism, other types of bigotry, and lazy error. A headline at the left-wing website Refinery29 called her “the Potential RBG ... Read More

Andrew Cuomo’s Horrific Decisions

Observers of New York politics over the past several years understand that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fanatical obsession with humiliating and overruling his fellow Democrat Bill de Blasio towers over every other consideration in the Empire State. Sometimes Cuomo’s habits come across as merely silly, as when he ... Read More

Andrew Cuomo’s Horrific Decisions

Observers of New York politics over the past several years understand that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fanatical obsession with humiliating and overruling his fellow Democrat Bill de Blasio towers over every other consideration in the Empire State. Sometimes Cuomo’s habits come across as merely silly, as when he ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Left Wants Regime Change

Constitutional revolution is going mainstream. After delivering lectures about political norms for the entirety of the Trump era -- often with good cause -- much of the Left is now threatening to kneecap an important institution of American government on a partisan vote in an act of ideological ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Left Wants Regime Change

Constitutional revolution is going mainstream. After delivering lectures about political norms for the entirety of the Trump era -- often with good cause -- much of the Left is now threatening to kneecap an important institution of American government on a partisan vote in an act of ideological ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Rules Matter

On the menu today: One of Robert Mueller’s lieutenants now writes that the former FBI director failed to subpoena the president and otherwise “pulled punches for fear of incurring Trump’s wrath”; the importance of rules, and how political figures who refuse to apply a consistent standard make governing ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Rules Matter

On the menu today: One of Robert Mueller’s lieutenants now writes that the former FBI director failed to subpoena the president and otherwise “pulled punches for fear of incurring Trump’s wrath”; the importance of rules, and how political figures who refuse to apply a consistent standard make governing ... Read More