Remember our piece about NYC Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot? You know, the individual who strongly encouraged NYers to mingle during Lunar New Year and publicly stated there was no risk of catching the ‘rona on public transport. After all Trump was misinformed on coronavirus and it was unfair to stigmatize the Asian community.
As infections soared, Barbot was still able to retweet more important self-congratulation on her “expertise, commitment and incredible strength during COVID-19” and being the first Latina to head NYC Health. Like any of that mattered to NYers.
After the NYPD chief of department requested masks for officers she told him,
“I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops…I need them for others.”
Barbot resigned on Tuesday citing differences with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“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…It has been an honor and privilege to serve at the helm of an agency with its long and distinguished history in promoting and protecting New Yorkers health through ordinary times and during some of the most challenging moments in our city’s history. I am proud that as a woman of color raised in public housing in this city, I always put public health, racial equity and the well-being of the city I love first.”
Mayor de Blasio responded,
“You’re going to have disagreements along the way…It had been clear certainly in recent days that it was time for a change, and really about how we move forward…In any team, there’s going to be different viewpoints, but the most important thing is the product, the most important thing is the outcome.”
The outcome under de Blasio has produced the worst statistics in the country by far. Perhaps if Barbot and the mayor cast aside their hatred of the president and focused on the mission based on medical expertise rather than prioritizing identity politics, things might have turned out differently.