New York City’s health commissioner blew off an urgent NYPD request for 500,000 surgical masks as the coronavirus crisis mounted — telling a high-ranking police official that “I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops,” The Post has learned.
Dr. Oxiris Barbot made the heartless remark during a brief phone conversation in late March with NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
Monahan asked Barbot for 500,000 masks 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.
“I need them for others.”
The conversation took place as increasing numbers of cops were calling out sick with symptoms of COVID-19 but before the department suffered its first casualties from the deadly respiratory disease, sources said.
Although surgical masks don’t necessarily prevent wearers from being infected with the coronavirus, they can prevent people from spreading it to others.
Yes, this is the same Health Commissioner who encouraged New Yorkers not to worry about the virus but to keep using mass transit, come celebrate Chinese New Year in Chinatown, and pack themselves together like sardines for the parade. She insisted back then that masks were of no use.