The city’s top cop said Tuesday he has accepted Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot’s apology over her crassly worded rejection of a high-ranking police official’s request for more face masks.
“[Barbot] reached out to me in the past week and essentially reiterated what’s in that apology,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said on NY1. “I think a lot of people were under a lot of different stresses during that period of time, trying to do the best they can, and I accepted her apology.”
During a tense March 18 phone call NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan had asked Barbot for 500,000 masks to protect cops from the coronavirus, but the health commissioner said she could only provide 50,000, the Post exclusively revealed last week.
“I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops,” Barbot said. “I need them for others.”
Barbot apologized Monday in a statement released by a spokesman for the city Department of Health.
“The members of the NYPD fight valiantly every day to keep New Yorkers safe,” Barbot said.
“In mid-March, I was asked to provide the NYPD with a half million N-95 masks, 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.
“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.”
In the NY1 interview, Shea said he would “certainly say” that the NYPD wasn’t “trying too hard to get masks.”
“If anything, that was probably the most important thing at the time,” he said. “Because again, you were dealing with the unknown. You’re asking your membership to come in and come to work … and it is our job to make sure that they are coming in with a reliance that we are doing everything possible to keep them safe.”
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