After Days of Controversy, NYC Health Chief Apologizes for Refusing to Give Cops Masks

After Days of Controversy, NYC Health Chief Apologizes for Refusing to Give Cops Masks

New York - After days of allowing the controversy to fester, New York City's health commissioner apologized on Monday for her refusal to give NYPD officers face masks in the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.

Commissioner Oxiris Barbot was accused in a New York Post article on Thursday of telling a police chief that she couldn't care less about the safety of police officers, adding a vulgar expletive.

She said she was asked to provide the NYPD with a half million N-95 masks in mid-March, "while masks and other PPE were in terribly short supply."

"I wished we had sufficient numbers to meet their full request and were ultimately able to partially fulfill what was sought," she said in a statement. "This regrettably led to an argument in which words were exchanged between a police official and myself. I apologized to that police official then and today, I apologize to the NYPD for leaving any impression whatsoever that I don’t have utmost respect for our police department, which plays a critical role on the frontlines each and every day to keep our city safe.”

Barbot had not addressed the incident in the days since the report appeared, and did not show up to Mayor Bill de Blasio's daily coronavirus news conferences. De Blasio has said that he learned about it from the press and denied that he was present when the exchange occurred.

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