In a letter sent to staff of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene obtained by CNN, outgoing commissioner Oxiris Barbot said she had submitted her resignation to the mayor this morning, without elaborating on her reasons.
“I have every confidence that you, the committed individuals of this agency, will continue to dedicate yourselves to protection the health of all New Yorkers during this unprecedented public health emergency,” she wrote. “the moment demands it without distractions.”
“I am proud that as a woman of color raised in public housing in this city, I always put public health, racial equality, and the well-being of the city I love first,” Barbot wrote.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he received a resignation letter from Barbot in the last hour.
“I want to thank her for her service to the city and I want to thank her for the important work she did during this crisis,” the mayor said.
The mayor and Barbot have reportedly clashed over the past several months during the coronavirus pandemic.
The mayor will announce Tuesday the appointment of a new Commissioner of the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygeine, according to a city release.
There was no mention of Barbot in the mayor’s press release.
Dr. Dave A. Chokshi will take Barbot’s place, according to de Blasio’s office.
“Dr. Chokshi has served at the highest level of local, state, and federal health agencies, including NYC Health + Hospitals, where he was in senior leadership roles over the past six years,” the release said.
Dr. Chokshi also served as a White House Fellow in the Obama Administration and was the principal health advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the release said.