Dr. Dave Chokshi, has stepped down as the New York City’s Health Commissioner.
Chokshi stepped down on Monday March 14, 2022, after leading New Yorkers through most of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chokshi was named the city’s health commissioner in August 2020, and nearly 600 days later he says taking on the roll was the “honor of a lifetime.”
On his final day on the job, he appeared on “Mornings On 1” to discuss his tenure, saying he is proud of the work that the city has been able to accomplish.
“This is a period that has pushed, you know, so many of us to our limits,” Chokshi said.
“The vaccination campaign is one that I look back on and [there was] no shortage of hurdles in getting over 6 million New Yorkers vaccinated. But at the end of it, we can look back and say that we saved lives by doing it.”
He said the city had learned much throughout the pandemic, adding that he feels confident that New York is safely reopening and overcoming COVID.
“We’ve taken a balanced approach. We’ve kept a number of protections in place, particularly the ones that have been the most effective in New York City – such as our vaccine requirements – even as we have lifted some of the other ones,” Chokshi said.
He noted that the city will continue to “dial protections back up as needed,” and health officials will continue to monitor cases and hospitalizations.
In his final message to the city, he advised residents to pay attention to the “reverberating effects from COVID” and asked that the city seize the opportunities to “make bold changes for ourselves personally, when it comes to our health, but also in thinking about all of the things that generate health in our society.”
Chokshi concluded by saying when New Yorkers look back at this time, he hopes they will remember some of it as a “landmark change for the health of New York City.”
The doctor’s comments came as New York City marked two years since the first COVID-19 fatality was recorded in the five boroughs. Nearly 40,000 New Yorkers have died from the virus since.
In a statement, Mayor Eric Adams mourned those who have died and noted the pandemic has “caused incalculable suffering and pain for our families, friends, and neighbors.”
“As we work to recover and rebuild New York City, we must remember those that we have lost, and carry on their stories,” the mayor added.
“We will never forget their names, their faces, or the ways they have shaped this great city, and we recommit ourselves, in their memories, to remake our city into one that is more just, equitable, and resilient.”