US: New York Health Official resigns amid the coronavirus pandemic

New York City’s top health official, Dr Oxiris Barbot, resigned on Tuesday after months of discord with the mayor’s office and the city’s police department.

Dr Barbot, who led the city’s response to its coronavirus outbreak, was called to resign by the city’s police unions after being accused of rejecting a request from the New York Police Department for more protective equipment.

In a statement, Barbot wrote: “As I shared with the Mayor, your world-class skills are what make this agency so respected around the globe. Your experience and guidance have been the beacon leading this city through this historic pandemic and that to successfully brace against the inevitable second wave, your talents must be better leveraged alongside that of our sister agencies.”

Dr Barbot will be replaced by Dr Dave Chokshi as commissioner of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. According to a statement from the city, Chokshi “has served at the highest level of local, state and federal health agencies, including NYC Health and Hospitals, where he was in senior leadership roles over the past six years.”

He also served as a White House fellow in the Obama Administration and was the principal health advisor to the secretary of veterans affairs, according to the statement.