The grip around Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political career is tightening — and it is tightening fast. The New York Democrat, who became a household name in 2020 for helping get the COVID-19 pandemic under control throughout the hard-hit state, is now being accused of sexual assault and of hiding data on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes — accusations that have drawn strong criticism from many, including members of his own party.
In December 2020, Lindsey Boylan, a former aide in Cuomo’s administration, took to Twitter to accuse Cuomo of harassing her “for years.” She unleashed a series of allegations of misconduct that have been adding up ever since. On March 10, 2021, The Times Union of Albany reported that a sixth person came forward with a damning accusation against the governor. Calling it “the most sexually aggressive allegation yet,” The New York Times reported that the unidentified woman said Cuomo groped her in his private residence in 2020. A seventh account surfaced on March 12, 2021, according to Reuters.
Cuomo has denied all allegations against him, claiming he has “never done anything like this,” according to The New York Times report. “The details of this report are gut-wrenching,” Cuomo said. “I am not going to speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation given the ongoing review, but I am confident in the result of the attorney general’s report.” However, Cuomo is under mounting pressure to resign in light of the news. Keep reading to find out the latest big-name politicians who have called for the governor’s removal.
Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand released a joint statement about Andrew Cuomo
On March 12, 2021, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, New York’s two U.S. senators, joined the growing calls for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step down, becoming the highest profile politicians to do so, as Reuters reported. The powerful senators have joined the majority of New York congressional Democrats in calling for Cuomo’s resignation following the accusations of sexual assault and mishandling of COVID-19 data.
Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, and Gillibrand released a joint statement in which they voiced their concern over the piling allegations against the New York governor, raising questions about Cuomo’s ability to govern after losing the confidence of his “partners and the people.”
“Confronting and overcoming the Covid crisis requires sure and steady leadership. We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct,” they said in their statement. “Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York.”
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, and Jerrold Nadler joined the mounting calls
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Jamaal Bowman characterized the allegations against Andrew Cuomo as “alarming” in a joint statement released on March 12, 2021, according to CBS New York. They shared they were not only concerned about the governor’s sexual accusations, but also about the allegations that he mishandled data relating to COVID-19 victims in nursing homes.
In the statement, the U.S. Democrats noted their concern for the “present safety and well-being of the administrative staff,” per the CBS report. They reiterated that they believe the women’s account and that they stand with them.
“After two accounts of sexual assault, four accounts of harassment, the Attorney General’s investigation finding the Governor’s admin hid nursing home data from the legislature & public, we agree with the 55+ members of the New York State legislature that the Governor must resign,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter in a message accompanying a photo of the joint statement, a tweet that was retweeted by Bowman.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler also joined the calls, arguing that the accusations, combined with Cuomo’s response to the events, “have made it impossible for him to continue to govern,” per CBS.
Bill de Blasio has stated that Andrew Cuomo 'can no longer serve'
On March 11, 2021, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed his support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, as reported by The New York Post. Calling the allegations “deeply troubling,” de Blasio said Cuomo “can no longer serve as governor anymore. It’s as simple as that.”
“The specific allegation that the governor called an employee of his, someone who he had power over, called them to a private place and then sexually assaulted her is absolutely unacceptable to me,” de Blasio said, as cited in the report.
In total, about 60 Democratic members of New York’s Legislature have called for Cuomo’s resignation, according to CNBC. That includes the powerful Democratic leader of the New York State Senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who said on March 7, 2021, that Cuomo should step down “for the good of the state” of New York, as CNN reported.
Outside of Democratic circles, prominent figures who have spoken out about Cuomo include journalist and host Megyn Kelly, who suggested he should step down by asking, “How much longer can this go on?” and Meghan McCain, who called the governor a “ghoul.”
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