De Blasio: NYC health chief’s ‘rats’ asses’ comment to NYPD was ‘inappropriate’
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that he’s “concerned” about the revelations that the city’s health commissioner ignored an NYPD request for 500,000 surgical masks amid the coronavirus crisis, telling a police official that she didn’t give “two rats’ asses about your cops” – and added it would be “inappropriate” to say.
“I need to understand what happened here. I am concerned about it,” de Blasio said during his daily press briefing when he was asked about the callous comments made by Dr. Oxiris Barbot.
“It obviously raises real concerns for me,” the mayor said.
The Post exclusively reported Wednesday that Barbot made the remark during a brief, mid-March phone conversation with NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan.
During that conversation, Monahan asked Barbot for 500,000 surgical masks as the COVID-19 crisis was mounting, but she said she could only provide 50,000, the sources said.
“I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops,” Barbot said, according to sources, during a heated exchange. “I need them for others.”
Barbot was noticeably absent from de Blasio’s daily press briefing Thursday.
“If what is being reported is accurate, the commissioner [Barbot] needs to apologize to the men and women of the NYPD, unquestionably,” de Blasio said.
Hizzoner added, “No public servant should never in any way say anything disrespectful about the men and women of the NYPD. They protect us and we need to protect them.”
“To me it would be inappropriate to anyone particularly in a leadership role to suggest it,” de Blasio said, noting, “That would be a real inappropriate statement.”
Still, de Blasio dodged questions about calls from NYPD unions for Barbot’s firing and said he wanted to get to the bottom of the matter and hear the perspectives of both Barbot and Monahan.
“I don’t have the full details yet and I want the full details for sure,” de Blasio said. “I want to speak to each of them and understand exactly what happened.”
When asked about the Sergeants Benevolent Association calling Barbot a “bitch” in a tweet Wednesday in response, de Blasio said the union’s president, Edward Mullins, should apologize.
“What the SBA is saying, what Ed Mullins is saying…is absolutely unacceptable” de Blasio said. “That language should be condemned and I think everyone needs to focus on trying to, in the middle of this crisis, be respectful.”
The Post has reported that a source who was present at the city Office of Emergency Management headquarters in Brooklyn in March recalled witnessing a “very tense moment” when Monahan complained to de Blasio in front of Barbot about the NYPD’s need for personal protective equipment, saying, “For weeks, we haven’t gotten an answer.”
De Blasio, who was seated between Monahan and Barbot, asked her, “Oxiris, what is he talking about?” the source has said.
When Monahan said the gear was vital to keeping cops safe, de Blasio said, “You definitely need it,” and told Barbot, “Oxiris, you’re going to fix this right now,” the source said.
De Blasio on Wednesday confirmed that he was involved in “the effort to make sure that the PPEs that were needed by the men and women of the NYPD got to them,” but that he was not present for the heated interaction between Barbot and Monahan.
“When I didn’t see it happening quickly enough, I intervened to make sure it did happen,” de Blasio said.
Source: Read Full Article