My iPod battery died at the gym so I plugged in and listened to CNBC. They made a compelling case for the Republican party becoming authoritarian and squashing debate. Liz Cheney, who stood up for truth and democracy, lost in a landslide.
So, I ask, is it much different here in NYC? Julia Savel, formerly of the Department of Social Services, alerted authorities to her employer's illegal act and was fired, but the party line is that the dismissal wasn't because she spoke out. https://www.fox5ny.com/news/social-services-spokesperson-fired
In town halls and conference
calls, Commissioner Vasan has emphasized that DOHMH staff, specifically my
former bureau, have had their expertise disrespected and not valued. And that
he wants to create a culture of openness, transparency and well-being. Furthermore, he recognizes that the bureau has been short staffed (underpowered) and he's
committed to providing resources.
Let's review the commissioner's actions, as they speak louder than words:
The prevention messaging of the July 15th Press release failed to undergo review by any knowledgeable infectious disease epidemiologist.
The senior most infectious disease epidemiologist was reassigned in the midst of dual pandemics.
Who ordered Don Weiss reassigned? I can't tell you.
Why was he reassigned? Part of Departmental realignment.
Was anyone else reassigned? No.
Are they any job postings to support the needs of this unit? No
What is the urgent need in Family and Child Health? I can't tell you.
The transfer three days after the New York Times article was published seems retaliatory. No Comment
And what of the commissioner's track record of decisions?
March 2022- Soon after his appointment stated he would implement indefinite mandatory masks for preschool kids, much to the dismay of parents and displaying a lack of understanding of the epidemiology and community fatigue. Mayor Adams reversed this. https://nypost.com/2022/03/19/nycs-new-health-czar-says-young-kids-should-continue-wearing-masks/
June 2022- The vaccine distribution was rushed (so NYC could lay claim to being first) resulting in a chaotic scene at the Chelsea Health Center. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/06/new-york-monkeypox-vaccine-drive-is-a-recipe-for-disaster.html
July 2022- Focused efforts on changing the name of monkeypox instead of addressing prevention. https://bronx.news12.com/nyc-health-commissioner-calls-on-who-to-change-name-of-monkeypox-virus
Was more concerned about combatting stigma than disease transmission by providing accurate information so people could reduce their risk. https://www.wnyc.org/story/the-brian-lehrer-show-2022-07-19/
And then there is this:
"During his two and a half years at the city health department, Vasan developed a reputation of being "difficult" and a "bad boss," according to three current and former employees who were granted anonymity because they feared retaliation." How prescient of them. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/21/new-city-health-commissioner-has-history-of-leadership-issues-in-previous-role-00018527