As COVID hospitalizations spike, new NY health commissioner takes over from embattled Zucker

Local News
Dr. Mary Bassett

FILE- In this Aug. 8, 2015, file photo, Dr. Mary Bassett, New York City’s former health commissioner, addresses the media during a news conference in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. — New state health commissioner Mary Bassett stepped into her role Wednesday, at a time when COVID-19 hospitalizations are on the rise in New York.

The former New York City health commissioner led the city department’s response to Ebola and other disease outbreaks.

Public health leaders hope Bassett will and usher in an era of collaboration with local governments and address public health issues and health disparities.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday that she’ll introduce Bassett as the health department’s new leader Thursday.

“Our recovery from this pandemic requires tested leadership and experience to improve health equity and access across the state, and Dr. Bassett is perfectly equipped to lead the New York State Department of Health during this critical moment,” Hochul said when she announced her pick. “When I was sworn in as Governor, I pledged to build a talented team with the skills, knowledge, and expertise to stop the spread of COVID-19, return our lives to normalcy, and move our state forward. Dr. Bassett is both a highly regarded public health expert and an exemplary public servant, and I look forward to working with her to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy.” 

PIX11 contributed to this report.

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