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Dr. Mary Bassett resigns as New York state health commissioner

Mary Bassett
WAMC.org
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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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