Hey Mr. Mayor, Remember Your Promise


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Published April 25, 2014.

Hey, Mr. Mayor! When you were the public advocate of the City of New York — an office with little more than a megaphone — you criticized city agencies for failing to respond to Freedom of Information Law requests. Government, you said, must be held accountable!

Now, Mr. de Blasio, you’re the mayor, and it’s time for you to follow your own advice. Especially when it concerns the health of the most vulnerable citizens of your great city.

As our Paul Berger reports, the city health department appears not to be enforcing its own rule requiring written parental consent before a controversial circumcision rite called metzitzah b’peh, known as MBP, is performed on an 8-day-old infant. What’s more, one of the city’s big-deal mohels, Rabbi Avrohom Cohn, chairman of the American Board of Ritual Circumcision, is flouting the rule with apparent impunity.

The Forward’s attempt to get a response from the city — eight emails, four phone messages, one FOIL request on appeal — have gone unanswered. So we’ll remind you of a few other numbers. Since 2000, 14 infants have been infected with herpes during MBP. Two died. At least two others suffered brain damage.

You want that on your conscience? Are you listening, Mr. Mayor?

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