New York State Health Commissioner, Howard Zucker, has resigned from his position, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced during a news conference, multiple sources reported.
Zucker, 62, worked with former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the COVID-19 pandemic and helped shape the state’s response to the virus, the Wall Street Journal reported. He is one of the many Cuomo-appointed cabinet members to step down in the recent weeks and will remain at his position until a successor is identified.
Howard Zucker is just as guilty as Cuomo when it comes to the March 25th order to put Covid positive patients into nursing homes and the subsequent cover up of the thousands of deaths. He should’ve been fired a year ago. https://t.co/DTgCjTvu5o
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) September 23, 2021
“I thank Dr. Zucker for his willingness to stay on board so we don’t have a gap in leadership until a person is identified,” Hochul said in the news conference, according to The New York Times. “I think I made it very clear on my first day in office that I’d be looking to build a new team.”
In a letter obtained by the WSJ, Zucker said that he believes the hardest part of New York’s pandemic response is over, and he said that he believed it was a good time to step down from the position. (RELATED: Cuomo’s Replacement For New York Governor, Kathy Hochul, Holds Fundraisers Without Masks)
“I look forward to pursuing new opportunities that explore the hurdles and unknowns in medicine, policy and public health and voyage into my own imagination to work on overcoming them,” Zucker wrote in the letter, according to the WSJ.
Zucker was a close adviser to Cuomo when he ordered schools and businesses to close in New York during the beginning of the pandemic, according to the WSJ. He also advised Cuomo on ordering hospitals to increase their capacity to combat the growing number of patients suffering from COVID-19.
Zucker also issued an order in March that said nursing homes could not refuse to admit patients that tested positive for COVID-19, according to the WSJ. Nursing home employees said the order was a way to force the nursing homes to take in patients.
This controversial order was highlighted in May when the Daily Caller News Foundation discovered that Cuomo intentionally underreported nursing home deaths, a practice that continued for multiple months.
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