ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday that state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker is resigning.
Zucker submitted his resignation early Thursday morning, Hochul said at a press conference.
“Dr. Zucker has submitted his resignation, our commissioner of health,” Hochul said. “I agree with his decision. He has been a dedicated public servant for over seven-and-a-half years. He worked hard through the pandemic. And I want to thank him for his service on behalf of the people of this state.”
Zucker agreed to stay on until the position has been filled, Hochul said.
“He understands that in this time I’ve wanted to take the first 45 days to assemble a new team going forward,” Hochul said. “And that process is ongoing. And he understands and he respects that and has an opportunity to move on to new ventures.”
State Senate Republican leader Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, called for Zucker’s resignation in January.
“Howard Zucker’s resignation is welcome news to all the local public health officials whose input into COVID-19 he ignored, to all the medical professionals who had to endure a Department of Health agenda driven by politics over public health necessities, and to the thousands of families whose loved ones’ deaths were covered up by him, under orders he falsely claimed were based on science,” Ortt said in a statement Thursday.
“Howard Zucker chose to protect Andrew Cuomo’s political career above protecting the health of New Yorkers,” Ortt said. “We hope that he and Andrew Cuomo have occasion to continue discussing and refining their warped version of science during their retirement from public service.”
Check back for more on this developing story.