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Dr. Mary Bassett resigns as New York state health commissioner

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Mary Bassett
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Mary Bassett

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett is resigning at the end of the year. In a statement this Friday, Bassett says she will return to the Harvard Chan School of Public Health in January. She said stepping down “was a very difficult decision.” She says she is leaving now so Governor Kathy Hochul can tap a new commissioner to serve for a full four-year term.

Hochul said in a statement she was deeply grateful for Dr. Bassett’s service to New Yorkers and leadership during an extraordinarily challenging era for public health.

"Throughout her time in my Administration -- from the onset of the Omicron variant and through mpox and polio outbreaks -- she has worked tirelessly to keep New Yorkers informed, healthy and safe," said Hochul.

Bassett was one of Hochul’s first high-profile hires after taking over for Andrew Cuomo in 2021 and replaced Dr. Howard Zucker — who faced mounting criticism over the state’s COVID-19 policies.

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