State Health Commish Zucker Has Resigned

September 23, 2021

Albany area media outlets are reporting today, that Governor Kathy Hochul has accepted the resignation of New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. See statement below from GOP candidate for governor, Lee Zeldin:

“Howard Zucker should have been fired! He was the Cuomo/Hochul Administration’s right hand man carrying out the deadly nursing home order and cover up and having state Health Department employees provide preferential COVID testing to the administration’s friends and family at private residences and then moving the samples to the front of the line at the state lab. Instead of kicking Zucker to the curb, Kathy Hochul is letting him hang around for a couple extra months, and depart on his terms, giving him a pat on the back on the way out for a supposed job well done. What a joke!”

Updated at 1:45 to Show State Senator George Borello’s statement:

“As one of those who has been calling for Howard Zucker’s resignation for months, today’s news is welcome, although sorely overdue. His complicity in the Cuomo administration’s coverup of nursing home deaths and COVID deaths overall, mismanagement of the pandemic response, and politicization of the Health Department have been a stain on our state and compromised vital public health functions at a critical time. It is troubling that he, like his former boss, appears to be exiting on his own terms. If he is resigning, he should leave today. Anything less than that means that he will be continuing to make decisions that affect the lives of all New Yorkers. If this is truly a new era of transparency in New York State government, his departure cannot come a moment too soon.”

Updated against at 1:57pm to show Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes Statement:

“As a member of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, we have been investigating former Gov. Cuomo and his administration’s role in nursing home deaths. I have been fighting to make sure a public report is released in order to bring transparency, accountability and help give some peace and justice to the families that lost loved ones. At this time, the investigation is ongoing. All I can say regarding state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker’s resignation is that it has been a long time coming, is warranted, and will probably be welcome news to many grieving families across our state.”

“It was clear to many of us, as far back as early last year, that the Cuomo administration was in full damage control on the nursing homes cover-up. Former Governor Cuomo, Commissioner Zucker, and their inner circle had a story, they were sticking to it, and they wanted their version of this tragedy to be the final word. Their story is that they did everything right and wouldn’t change a thing. That will not be the final word on this tragedy. They stonewalled the Legislature, stonewalled government watchdogs, stonewalled reporters and, most egregiously, stonewalled the families of nursing home residents. There still has not been an adequate opportunity to fully interrogate and question them about their actions. Andrew Cuomo, Howard Zucker, and others from that inner circle can resign, but there still needs to be accountability for the thousands of lives lost.

2:55pm, From Senator Tom O’Mara:

“I continue my calls for the Senate Investigations Committee to issue subpoenas for Zucker to testify under oath and to the dozen or more Department of Health executives that resigned, in apparent protest, following the Cuomo-Zucker deadly nursing home order. Zucker should not stay one more day. He should have been gone on Day One of the Hochul administration if she was truly serious about cleaning out Cuomo’s trash.”