New York State Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker, who served underneath disgraced ex-governor Andrew Cuomo and was answerable for implementing his disastrous Covid-19 nursing house directive, has resigned from his place.
Zucker has stepped down as commissioner for the New York State Division of Well being, Governor Kathy Hochul introduced on Thursday throughout a information convention, thanking the outgoing official for his service. He’ll stay in workplace till a successor is called, she added.
Additionally on rt.com
‘Appalling’: NY state provides 12,000 Covid-19 deaths to Cuomo’s toll after ex-governor accused of concealing actual quantity
Declaring the worst of the pandemic over, Zucker argued it was an excellent time to “cross the baton,” and acknowledged that he “look[ed] ahead to pursuing new alternatives that discover the hurdles and unknowns in drugs, coverage, and public well being, and [to] voyage into my very own creativeness to work on overcoming them.”
Zucker was answerable for drawing up the Cuomo administration’s now-notorious order requiring nursing properties to simply accept Covid-19-positive sufferers – a directive that led to tens of hundreds of deaths in such amenities. Whereas these casualties had been arguably predictable and preventable – Cuomo himself acknowledged that the virus unfold by means of care properties “like fireplace by means of dry grass” – the governor later tried to shake off duty for the order, implying care properties had had the choice to disobey the order.
Cuomo’s high well being official got here underneath heavy criticism for refusing to launch the total loss of life toll related to the disastrous coverage, arguing that the state had sat on the troubling data as a result of the info hadn’t been “adequately verified.” The variety of care house deaths was undercounted by as a lot as two-thirds, in keeping with federal statistics that surfaced final yr, with Cuomo aides mounting what a New York Occasions investigation referred to as a “sustained effort” to “obscure the pandemic loss of life toll” and divert consideration elsewhere.
Additionally on rt.com
Cuomo’s aides ‘spent months hiding’ Covid-19 nursing house deaths, NYT claims primarily based on paperwork & interviews
State lawmakers weren’t shy in evaluating Zucker’s tenure as he introduced his departure, both. Senate Well being Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera slammed the outgoing official for permitting “the company he led on behalf of the individuals of New York to develop into a political instrument for Cuomo and his allies.” Zucker had labored for the state well being division since 2013 and was one in every of a number of Cuomo appointees to tender his resignation within the wake of the disgraced governor’s departure.
Whereas Cuomo resigned final month within the thick of a sexual harassment scandal, many have argued he was not adequately held to account for the various nursing house deaths that occurred on his watch or the evisceration of the state hospital system he presided over throughout his three phrases as governor. He was changed by Hochul, his former lieutenant governor, who, regardless of promising to “construct a brand new staff,” has ruled largely in Cuomo’s footsteps.
Like this story? Share it with a pal!