NYC hospitals chief caught on camera getting dressed just before briefing
Maybe he hit snooze.
The city’s hospitals chief was caught on live video rushing to put a shirt on Wednesday — 20 minutes after the mayor’s daily press briefing was scheduled to begin — in the latest apparent flub for a de Blasio administration that has come under fire for being unprepared to reopen the city.
Dr. Mitchell Katz threw on a shirt just five minutes before the virtual press conference — scheduled for 9:30 a.m. — began at 9:55 a.m.
Those logged in, including city officials and members of the media, watched as a shirtless Katz put on a white T-shirt in a bedroom from which he was streaming.
It’s unclear whether Katz, the president and CEO of NYC’s Health + Hospitals, was aware his computer’s camera was on at the time or if he thought he had stepped off screen.
But the last-minute wardrobe change underscored the apparent lack of preparedness by de Blasio and his team as the city eyes its post-coronavirus comeback.
Katz oversees the city’s 11 public hospitals, the largest public hospital system in the country. He’s in charge of driving down the number of coronavirus patients in the system’s ICUs, one of the last metrics the city needs to meet before it can reopen. He also oversees the city’s massive test and trace corps, another key aspect of the reopening plan.
On Tuesday, de Blasio maintained the city was on track to begin reopening in weeks — if not days — but was incapable of outlining a plan of attack on doing so.
Katz later appeared for the briefing alongside the mayor and other city officials wearing a button-down shirt and tie.
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