CHICAGO — During a Monday press conference at City Hall, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson quoted a slain rapper while addressing his decision to fire Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.
Johnson was asked if the decision stemmed from disputes between Arwady and the Chicago Teachers Union, as both parties had previously clashed over school reopenings during the pandemic.
“Transition is difficult for everyone,” Johnson said. “But as has already been articulated, I don’t know how many times you’re allowed to quote Tupac (Shakur) in a press conference, but ‘You can’t always go by the things that you hear.’ Right? ‘Real eyes…realize…real lies.’ That’s also Tupac Shakur.”
Mayor Johnson’s office confirmed the termination of Dr. Arwady to WGN-TV on Friday. Arwady served as the city’s health commissioner since January 2020.
Amid Johnson’s campaign for mayor, the former Chicago Public School teacher had promised to release Arwady from her post as health commissioner.
Following news of her dismissal, Arwady released a statement Friday night, saying in part:
Over a decade of working in public health in Chicago–including four years as the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health–my top priority has always been protecting the health of all Chicagoans.
It has been the best chapter of my life (so far!) leading the CDPH team, especially through the COVID pandemic, when public health was needed more than ever. Public health must always be driven by science and medicine, and never politics.
Arwady pledged to continue her work in advancing health, equity and justice, adding that her passion for public health remains.
WGN’s Dina Bair recently sat down with Dr. Allison Arwady. Watch the conversation on WGN News at 4 p.m.