Cuomo’s office undermined health ministry, top doctor testifies – archyde

The routine work of the state’s disease experts – even something as mundane as creating a flyer explaining the specifics of quarantine and isolation – had to be clarified by what Dr. Dufort referred to as “the Chamber”, an abbreviation for “Executive Chamber”, “as the governor’s office and top adviser in Albany are often called, she testified.

Bottlenecks in this process resulted in some public health guidelines being published too late or not at all. At one point she failed to bring out a Covid-19 guide she wrote for government health care providers, moved to tears, she said.

The “chamber” sometimes seemed more concerned with managing the flow of information than coordinating an effective response, she testified. At the start of the pandemic, at the start of the pandemic, as cases skyrocketed, the governor’s office dispatched an officer “who was very close to us that he had no public health experience” to oversee the ministry’s pandemic response conduct.

“He was a close person to the governor, handling situations,” she said.

The official, whose name is blacked out in the report, insisted that Wadsworth, the main state laboratory that analyzed Covid tests in the early days of the pandemic, report its results to the governor’s office before the test results were shared with local health officials . This is inappropriate, said Dr. Dufort, both because she feared it would violate strict data protection regulations and because it could delay the delivery of the results to New York City and other counties.

The senior health authority in charge of data ran into the hallway crying after receiving the order and was told she could stop if she didn’t agree, recalled Dr. Dufort.

Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, characterized Dr. Dufort as “second or third hand interpretations by an employee whose only interaction with the governor or his top employees was during a live Covid briefing”.

“The fact that this issue has been pursued even on this independent issue speaks volumes about how this entire situation has been politicized and used as a weapon,” added Mr. Azzopardi.

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