Dr. Mary Bassett confirmed as NYS Health Commissioner

[anvplayer video=”5084618″ station=”998131″]

ALBANY, N.Y. (WHEC) — Dr. Mary Bassett confirmed as NYS Health Commissioner

Bassett was appointed by Gov. Kathy Hochul and replaced Dr. Howard Zucker, who served under the Cuomo administration.

Bassett issued a statement saying:

“I am honored to be officially appointed to serve as the 17th New York State Health Commissioner, and I thank Governor Kathy Hochul for entrusting me and the State Senate for this vote of confidence. As I have said from the beginning, I will continue to be open and transparent and make decisions based on science, data and improving the health of all New Yorkers. I will continue to work with our experts at the Department of Health and our partners at all levels of government on the COVID-19 response and other critical public health issues.”

Senate Republican leader Robert Ortt issued his own statement explaining why he voted "no" for Bassett’s confirmation saying:

"Today, I voted NO on the confirmation of Dr. Mary Bassett as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health. While I appreciate and respect Dr. Bassett’s credentials, I cannot in good conscience support a nominee who will not commit to examining the failures of the pandemic response under the disgraced Cuomo administration.

"Even though we are in year three of a global pandemic, I firmly believe that DOH is still run with political science – not medical science – dictating our state’s failing COVID policies.

"Endless arbitrary mandates. Discriminatory race-based COVID treatment. Infringing on New Yorkers’ second amendment rights. State-sanctioned drug injection sites. None of these policies are to the benefit of New Yorkers’ short- and long-term health.

"I am disappointed that the Hochul administration has not learned from the failures of the disgraced Cuomo administration. We need an independent Health Department that can tackle the COVID, drug, and violent crime epidemics without politics or political correctness clouding their judgment."

Bassett started her new post on Dec. 1, 2021.