New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, the mastermind behind former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 plan, has resigned from his position.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced during a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Sept. 23 that Zucker was stepping down after more than seven years working for the state.
Hochul said that Zucker agreed to stay in his position until a permanent replacement can be named.
“I agree with his decision … He’s been a dedicated public servant for seven-and-a-half years and worked hard during the pandemic,” she said. “I thank him on behalf of the people of this state, and he’s agreed to continue working until a replacement is in place.”
During the briefing, Hochul said that Zucker stepping away from her administration was part of the plan as she took over for Cuomo last month following his resignation amid sexual harassment allegations.
“I think I made it clear on my first day in office that we’re looking to build a new team, and I am building that team, and it’s just taking some time to build that team,” the governor said. “There are more changes forthcoming, and I thank everyone for their service.”
No replacement for Zucker has been named, but Hochul insinuated there are multiple candidates vying for the position.
“I know there’s been a number of individuals looking to join our administration at all levels,” she said. “And as we tick down the clock to certain deadlines, we're going to find people who are ready to hit the ground running.”
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