Dr. Mary T. Bassett, former New York City health commissioner, has been appointed state health commissioner, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.
Bassett succeeds Dr. Howard Zucker effective Dec. 1, becoming the state's first Black health commissioner. Lorna McBarnette, who is Caribbean-American, was the first Black acting state health commissioner, in 1991.
Zucker submitted his resignation last week, amid growing calls for his dismissal over his involvement in the state’s much-criticized handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and its death toll in nursing homes.
“Our recovery from this pandemic requires tested leadership and experience to improve health equity and access across the state, and Dr. Bassett is perfectly equipped to lead the New York state Department of Health during this critical moment,” Hochul said in a statement Wednesday.
Her departure as city health commissioner in 2018 coincided with a probe by the city Department of Investigation into her agency’s handling of lead-paint inspections in public housing. She denied any connection between the two.
While working for de Blasio's health department, Dr. Mary deliberately lowered the city's standard threshold of lead contamination in blood levels so NYCHA could pass inspections for toxicity levels, and then she ran to Harvard after the jig was up. Can't think of a more exemplary hire to promote,legitimize and protect Empress Kathy's authoritarian, punitive and counterproductive vaccine mandate.