New York: Dr Dave A Chokshi, New York City's Indian-origin health commissioner, has tested positive for the COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, according to media reports. Chokshi, a 39-year-old physician with expertise in public health, was appointed to the post by Mayor Bill de Blasio in August last year for playing a crucial role in addressing the unprecedented coronavirus challenges faced by the city.
"In New York City and across the country, COVID continues to circulate in our communities, and all of us are potentially exposed to the virus. A testament to this fact is that I recently got tested and received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, Chokshi was quoted as saying by New York Post on Wednesday. "I now have mild symptoms, but they are manageable. I have been in touch with New York City's Test and Trace Corps to ensure that anyone who was potentially exposed is offered services and care, he said in a statement.
Chokshi was named Commissioner of the City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in August last year after serving health commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot resigned from her post. Blasio had said Chokshi has spent his career fighting for those too often left behind.
The Mayor had said Chokshi has an extraordinary history and as a child of immigrants, grew up with tremendous potential, and worked hard every step of the way to realise that potential. Chokshi recalled that opportunity propelled his grandfathers to move from small villages in Gujarat to Mumbai two generations ago.
His father was the first in his family to immigrate to the United States, settling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,where he was born and raised. A Rhodes scholar, Chokshi has served as a White House Fellow in the Obama administration and was the principal health advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
In 2016, then president Barack Obama appointed him to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. As a Rhodes scholar, Chokshi earned an MSc in global public health from the University of Oxford.
He was trained at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School. During his training, Chokshi did clinical work in Guatemala, Peru, Botswana, Ghana and India.