NEW YORK — The previous metropolis well being commissioner is giving new perception about what it was actually like working by way of the darkish days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas explains, Dr. Dave Chokshi says the tensions between Mayor Invoice de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo obtained in the best way of public well being.
Chokshi is understood for his mild-mannered supply, however throughout a dialog with the New York Well being Basis, he did not mince phrases in regards to the challenges as the town’s high physician, particularly the pandemic energy wrestle between Mayor Invoice de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“There have been moments the place, , my frustration at not with the ability to, um, to advance public well being coverage for New Yorkers could possibly be straight tied to the toxicity of that relationship,” Chokshi mentioned.
Chokshi particularly highlighted a time in January 2021 when the city announced first responders would be among the first to receive the COVID vaccine.
“That is an ideal step ahead, however we wish to go additional,” de Blasio mentioned on the time.
Just for Cuomo to override the choice a short while later, saying it was not throughout the mayor’s authority.
“Police who will not be well being care employees will not be but eligible. We have to get the well being care inhabitants executed first as a result of they’re the entrance line,” Cuomo said in January 2021.
Chokshi defined what occurred subsequent.
“Then I obtained a really irate telephone name to let me know, in no unsure phrases, , that I’d be held chargeable for breaking state legislation if we had been going to maneuver ahead to, , to vaccinate first responders,” he mentioned.
A rigidity Chokshi referred to as “ludicrous.” Nonetheless, he says he targeted on balancing the science of public well being, public will and politics in his choices.
“In order that we are able to forestall as a lot struggling and save as many lives as doable,” Chokshi mentioned.
However Chokshi warns COVID is way from over. From racial inequities to combatting misinformation, he hopes the town takes what it has realized to be higher ready for the subsequent emergency.
Cuomo’s spokesperson launched the next assertion in response:
“I am unsure what he is speaking about, however on the time we had extraordinarily restricted vaccine provide from the federal authorities and clear state tips that prioritized entrance line healthcare employees. Metropolis Corridor saved failing to meet this fundamental accountability and moderately than deal with the duty at hand they threw all the pieces on the wall to alter the topic and shift consideration away from their ineptitude.”
CBS2 additionally reached out to de Blasio for remark. Now we have not heard again.
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