Coronavirus News: NYC health commissioner apologizes to NYPD over 'heated exchange'

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The New York City Health Commissioner issued an apology Monday over a "heated exchange" with an NYPD top cop.

The exchange took place in March when NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan requested half a million surgical masks for officers as the city was working to distribute health supplies to health care workers.

However, part of the conversation was recently leaked, prompting some officials to call for the dismissal of Dr. Oxiris Barbot.

Barbot released the following statement Monday afternoon:

"The members of the NYPD fight valiantly every day to keep New Yorkers safe. 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."

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