“For the good of the state, Governor Cuomo must resign,” New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) said in a statement Sunday just hours after Cuomo again insisted he would not step down.
It’s impossible to overstate just how bad things have gotten for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
It started in late January when the state’s Democratic Attorney General Letitia James detailed how nursing home COVID death numbers were higher than the state originally reported. The undercounting, James said in so many words, was due in part to how New York changed how nursing home deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus were calculated.
Another explosive report that hit not long after revolved around the governor’s office admitting they deliberately hid nursing home COVID death data from state lawmakers because they feared an investigation by Trump’s DOJ. Another bombshell report revealed the actual number of COVID-positive patients who were let back into nursing home facilities was 9,056, which was over 40% higher than what Cuomo’s health department had initially reported.
And late last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that “Cuomo’s top advisers successfully pushed state health officials [last summer] to strip a public report of data showing that more nursing-home residents had died of Covid-19 than the administration had acknowledged.”
On top of the reports on the governor’s office deliberately deceiving state lawmakers, the press, and the public on the nursing home death numbers have been the sexual harassment allegations. The combination of both scandals has led to various calls from Democrats for Cuomo to either resign or be censured or impeached. At a press conference last Wednesday, Cuomo said he would not step down.
As to the sexual harassment allegations, New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) said Thursday that Cuomo should resign if any more accusers stepped forward.
“Any further people coming forward, I think it would be time to resign,” she told a local news outlet.
At the time she made her remarks, the count stood at three. Now the count stands at five:
Two more women came forward Saturday to accuse Gov. Cuomo of sexually harassing behavior, including a former press aide who describes struggling to free herself from his repeated hugs, and a young assistant who now says he left her feeling like “just a skirt.”
Former press aide Karen Hinton endured a “very long, too long, too tight, too intimate” embrace from Cuomo in a dimly lit Los Angeles hotel room in December 2000, she told the Washington Post.
The married Hinton pulled away, but “he pulls me back for another intimate embrace,” she told the paper. “I thought at that moment it could lead to a kiss, it could lead to other things, so I just pull away again, and I leave.”
The other new accuser, Ana Liss, a policy and operations aide who worked for the governor from 2013 to 2015, said he’d behaved inappropriately while on the job in Albany.
The governor called her “sweetheart” and asked if she had a boyfriend, Liss recalled to the Wall Street Journal.
Liss said Cuomo touched her on her lower back during an event, once kissed her hand and asked her if she was dating.
“It’s not appropriate, really, in any setting,” she told the newspaper. The Post could not immediately reach Liss.
The Washington Post also talked to over 20 former aides to Cuomo, some of who described the working environment with him as toxic:
What Cuomo has touted as an “aggressive” style goes far beyond that behind the scenes, according to more than 20 people who have worked with him from the 1990s to the present. Many former aides and advisers described to The Post a toxic culture in which the governor unleashes searing verbal attacks on subordinates. Some said he seemed to delight in humiliating his employees, particularly in group meetings, and would mock male aides for not being tough enough.
The Post reached out to more than 150 former and current Cuomo staffers, stretching back to his time at HUD in Washington. Most did not respond. Among those who did, the majority spoke on the condition of anonymity, because they said they still fear his wrath and his power to destroy careers.
Some of the former female aides the Post talked to said they didn’t necessarily view Cuomo’s alleged treatment of them as attempts at propositioning them. Instead, they were viewed as sexual “power plays” and attempts to “manipulate and control” the work environment as part of an overall “office culture they believed was degrading to young women.”
On Saturday after the new allegations were reported, Democratic New York State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou called on Cuomo to either resign or be impeached:
Cuomo must resign or we must impeach him. The harm and damage and hurt he has caused must end. I plead for my colleagues to have the strength to speak up and have the will to act.
— Yuh-Line Niou (@yuhline) March 7, 2021
In light of the two new accusers who went on the record to tell their stories, Stewart-Cousins was reminded about her Thursday statement on what Cuomo should do if more accusers spoke out:
.@AndreaSCousins we now have five accusers alleging predatory sexual behavior by the highest ranking elected official in our state – one more than the red line you laid down two days ago. It’s time. The people of NY state deserve nothing less. Call for his resignation.
— Assemblyman Mike Lawler (@lawler4ny) March 7, 2021
So will NY State Democrat Senate Majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins finally call for Cuomo to resign? She specifically said this week that if a fourth accuser comes out he should resign… now we have a fourth and a fifth.
I assume there will be crickets. #LiberalPrivilege https://t.co/ssRoLt1HgU
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 7, 2021
— Prison Mitch (@MidnightMitch) March 7, 2021
This afternoon, 24 hours after Saturday’s stories broke, she called on Cuomo to resign. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) also issued a statement, stopping just short of saying Cuomo should step down but noting he agreed with Stewart-Cousins’ sentiment on the governor’s inability to lead the state:
NEWS: The two Democratic leaders of the NY Legislature on Cuomo:
COUSINS: “For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign."
HEASTIE: “I too share the sentiment of Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins regarding the Governor's ability to continue to lead this state.” pic.twitter.com/oYEBzKgQXe
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) March 7, 2021
Their statements came just hours after Cuomo announced via a conference call that he would sign a bill into law limiting his emergency powers while reiterating with reporters that he would not resign.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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