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Statement from Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt

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.


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