Public health leaders expressed strong hope that the newly appointed New York state health commissioner can handle better the ongoing COVID crisis.
Mary Bassett, a former New York City health commissioner has been appointed by New York governor Kathy Hochul as the new boss of the state health department.
Bassett, currently the director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and a professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health faces challenges with the pandemic especially now that COVID-19 hospitalizations are on the rise in the state.
She replaces Howard Zucker who resigned in September after facing backlash for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, including the Andrew Cuomo administration’s decision to downplay the extent of how many people were dying of COVID-19, particularly in nursing homes.
With her stellar resume, public health leaders also hope Bassett will usher in an era of collaboration with local governments and address public health issues and health disparities.