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Holden Calls for NYC Health Commissioner To Be Fired Over COVID-19 Response

CM Holden and Dr. Oxiris Barbot (NYC Council and

April 8, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Council Member Robert Holden has called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to fire the city’s Health Department commissioner due to her handling of the coronavirus response.

Holden, in a joint letter with Council Member Eric Ulrich, accused Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot of failing to contain the outbreak of the virus and said that her inaction led to the city becoming the epicenter of the pandemic.

In the letter, the council members allege that she made a number of misleading public statements and provided inaccurate advice that they believe should result in her expulsion.

The council members provided examples of her alleged missteps. They cited a Jan. 24 press conference where she told New Yorkers to go about their lives as normal and that the risk to residents was low. She made the statement after two cases of the virus were confirmed in the United States, they said.

On Jan. 30, Barbot tweeted that there was no need to avoid public spaces and that the city was prepared to respond to an outbreak of COVID-19. The same day the WHO declared a global public health emergency, according to the letter.

Furthermore, when the first person in the city who was being tested for COVID-19 was found to be negative, Barbot described it as evidence that the system the city had in place was working as it should, they said.

Barbot also gave inaccurate advice on how the virus could be contracted, they allege.

“There’s no indication that being in a car, being in the subways with someone who’s potentially sick is a risk factor,” the letter quotes Barbot as saying on March 4.

However, within 24 hours Barbot abruptly changed the administration’s position to say that casual contact does lead to the spread of COVID-19, they allege.

Holden and Ulrich charge that at this point, it became clear that the administration was not in line with the facts about how this virus spreads and slammed Barbot’s actions.

“She did not do enough to convince you [de Blasio] to close public schools until March 16, and she failed to advise you to close playgrounds until Governor Andrew Cuomo made that decision for you,” they wrote.

They claim that the DOH completely lacks leadership during this crisis and that despite numerous warning signs from around the world, Barbot failed to keep New York City ahead of the curve.

“At this time, based on the history of misinformation, indecisiveness, and lack of proper planning, we have no confidence that Commissioner Dr. Barbot can effectively lead the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the city’s response to this deadly pandemic,” they said.

However, Barbot does have her supporters. Council Member Mark Levine, who is the health committee chairman, describing Barbot’s leadership as “outstanding.”

“She has given sober, science-based information to the public at every stage of this pandemic, including when some were still calling it a hoax,” Levine said. “She sounded the alarm and fought hard for difficult shut-down measures when our city needed it”.

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Anthony LoBello

Lets see by the end of 2015 Cuomo and DiBlasio shuttered 17 hospital in the 5 boroughs. Where is all that equipment. As of 4/10 the NY Post some one in Holden’s office has tested positive for COVID19. I guess I will not be going to that office anymore. Anyone who was there get tested


The one who was criticized for halting flights between China and US? The progressive socialists cannot get their story together.


They’re not wrong, her and DeBozo are the ones that put us in this situation and ever death falls squarely on their heads. And to the dummy’s talking about Trump, he early on based on the information the WHO gave him shut down flights from China as well we do not live in a nanny state country where states and cities have to wait for the feds to make a decision, they can make the decision without the feds and lockdown the city, but no even up until March 13th her and DeBozo were telling people to go out and enjoy a show or a play. THEY FAILED THIS CITY.

Midtown girl

Please keep the President out of it. While receiving questionable statistics from the epicenter, China, he still had the courage to close the airports to China and then Europe. He received a lot of criticism for that. Had he not done it, I am convinced 100’s of thousands more would have gotten sick or died. Another President might have been too “politically correct” . This is unprecedented. I am very proud what the government is doing.


Didn’t the mayor too say the same thing early in the crisis? Even went to Flushing for a photo op to dine at one of the restaurants to show that people shouldn’t avoid going there… But hey maybe blaming it on Trump would help. We all know that’s what NY politicians do when they make mistakes.


If you fire her you have to get rid of the hoax the fake president who has it under control what a crock


I agree that she doesnt have a defined leadership. I used to work for DOHMH and the agency was left without a proprr and definite mission statement. Mary Basset was a much stronger leader and she wouldve lead the city differntly.

Anita Lynn Brady

I would agree with this only is the Commander-in-Chief is also held to the same standard.


The proof is there! How can any sane person with functional brain support her after these documented claims. As a First-world country I cannot fathom how bad we NYers are suffering. This is unacceptable and heads need to roll!!
Sorry not sorry if this comes off as severe but human lives are/were at stake and Barbot has failed all of us. Fire her!


Take the Mayor with her. He too said to go on with your life as usual. He was going to the Chinese parade.
Both incompetent


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