New York City's health commissioner resigns, criticizing coronavirus handling

nycshooter/iStockBy AARON KATERSKY, ERIN SCHUMAKER and MARK CRUDELE, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Dr. Oxiris Barbot resigned as New York City’s health commissioner, saying in her resignation letter that “the Health Department’s incomparable disease control expertise was not used to the degree it could have been.”

“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,” her resignation letter said, taking aim at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.

Her replacement was immediately announced as Dr. Dave Chokshi, a Rhodes Scholar who served at the Louisiana Department of Health during Hurricane Katrina and was the principal health adviser to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the Obama administration.

Barbot’s resignation comes after de Blasio stripped control of the city’s COVID-19 contact tracing program from the health department, which has historically handled tracing. The mayor instead placed the program under Health and Hospitals, the agency that runs the city’s public hospitals.

In recent weeks, the city’s contract tracing program has come under fire after complaints from contact tracers about the program being disorganized and having poor working conditions.

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