Amid Pandemic, Indian-American Appointed NYC Health Commissioner

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New York Mayor De Blasio has appointed Dr Dave Choksi, a 39-year-old physician of Indian-origin as the new commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This came in as Dr Oxiris Barbot resigned from the said post.

Announcing Dr Choksi as the new health commissioner amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor De Blasio stated "This is not the first crisis [Dr Dave Choksi] has been through.".

In the past, he has served as physician in crisis-hit areas, like Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and New York after Superstorm Sandy.

"This is someone who knows how to take on any challenge, and do it with fairness and compassion," the mayor said. "A child of immigrants, grew up with tremendous with potential, and worked very hard every step of the way to realise that".

Mayor De Blasio is hopeful that this appointment will not only help New York deal responsibly and affectively with the COVID-19 pandemic, but also address the bigger, underlying picture of disparities in the American healthcare system.

A Rhodes Scholar, Choksi was appointed to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health by President Obama in 2016.

He also served as a White House Fellow in the Obama Administration and was the principal health advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

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