Ex-NYC Health chief speaks out on de Blasio’s handling of pandemic in new doc


Mayor Bill de Blasio and his top aides “panicked” at the prospect of speaking frankly to New Yorkers about the coronavirus’ deadly potential during the pandemic’s early days, former city Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot says in a new documentary. Barbot, who resigned in August while voicing “deep disappointment” in de Blasio’s handling of the health crisis, spoke out in a new feature for the BBC’s streaming service, BBC Select, a three-minute clip of which was posted to YouTube on Monday. “Behind the scenes, we had talked to the mayor and his team, [saying] that we could see tens of thousands of people die if we don’t act quickly,” recalled Barbot, who does not specify in the clip exactly when the conversation occurred. The direct talk was greeted with “sort of this panic in the room of like, ‘Oh my God, you can’t say that to the public because we’re gonna lose their trust.’”

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