'I don't give 2 rats' asses about your cops': New York City's health commissioner reportedly blew off an NYPD request for 500,000 masks
- Terence Monahan, the chief of
New YorkPolice Department, approached the city's health commissioner in late March asking for 500,000 surgical masks for his staff.
- "I don't give two rats' asses about your cops. I need them for others," Dr. Oxiris Barbot responded, a source told the New York Post.
- So far, 5,490 members of the NYPD have fallen sick and 41 have died.
- Calling for her ouster, union president Patrick Lynch said, "Dr. Barbot should be forced to look in the eye of every police family who lost a hero to this virus. Look them in the eye and tell them they aren't worth a rat's ass."
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Calls are mounting for New York City's health commissioner to resign or be fired after
"I don't give two rats' asses about your cops," Dr. Oxiris Barbot said in a call with NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan in late March, according to the New York Post.Monahan requested 500,000 masks, but Barbot said she could only spare 50,000, a source told the newspaper.
So far, 5,490 members of the NYPD have fallen sick and 41 have died, according to the Post.Patrick Lynch, who presides over the Police Benevolent Association, decried Barbot's "despicable and unforgivable" remarks.
"Dr. Barbot should be forced to look in the eye of every police family who lost a hero to this virus. Look them in the eye and tell them they aren't worth a rat's ass," he told the Post.Lynch, Councilman Joe Borelli, and Congressman Max Rose want Barbot gone, according to the Post. After being rejected by Barbot, NYPD officials discovered that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene had been storing masks, ventilators and other medical equipment stored in a New Jersey warehouse, sources told the Post. So department officials took the matter to City Hall and were able to get their hands on 250,000 surgical masks.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency supplied the NYPD with protective suits and disinfectant, according to the Post, after the agency and the Department of Homeland Security learned of Barbot's refusal.
The Post also reported on a "very tense moment" at the Office of Emergency Management in March when Monahan, in the presence of Barbot, complained to Mayor Bill de Blasio about their unmet needs for personal protective equipment (PPE). de Blasio told Barbot to "fix this right now" after Monahan said police didn't have enough equipment.
Patrick Gallahue, press secretary for the Department of Health, told the Post that Barbot has "apologized for her contribution to the exchange."
"During the height of COVID, while our hospitals were battling to keep patients alive, there was a heated exchange between the two where things were said out of frustration but no harm was wished on anyone," he said.Since the coronavirus began spreading rapidly, experts have differed on whether masks can offer protection, and for whom they can protect. The CDC is now advising that all Americans wear face masks when out in public. US Surgeon General Jerome Adams explained that this recommendation was brought about because so many people with
"We especially recommend this in areas of significant community-based transmission. It is critical," Adams said.The NYPD, mayor's office, and New York Department of Health didn't immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
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