Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday that state health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, who helped lead the State’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, is resigning from his position. Zucker will remain as the top state health official until a replacement for the commissioner job is chosen, Hochul said during a media briefing in Manhattan.
Zucker, who was appointed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo as health commissioner in 2015, was a leading figure in the state’s pandemic response at the height of the crisis last year. He has faced heated criticism over the state’s response, particularly in nursing homes. According to data released by the State this year, more than 15,800 people living in nursing homes and other long-term care homes in New York have died of COVID-19.
Gov. Hochul said there are several candidates being considered for the health commissioner position.