New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has become the most prominent politician demanding the resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo, calling the latest allegation of sexual harassment against him “deeply disturbing” and “disgusting.”
“It’s disgusting to me. And he can no longer serve as governor. It’s that simple, ”said De Blasio, who has had a particularly tempestuous relationship with Cuomo on Thursday.
He was responding to an article in the Albany Times Union newspaper claiming that the governor summoned a young employee to his mansion, then aggressively groped her under her blouse.
As accusations of sexual harassment and unwanted advances have piled up in recent weeks, Cuomo apologized for “whatever pain I’ve caused” but insisted he didn’t. never touched anyone inappropriately and would not resign.
On Sunday, the head of the state senate said the governor “must step down” for the sake of the state while the assembly leader urged him “to think seriously about his ability to respond effectively to needs. of the people of New York ”. Like Cuomo, both politicians are Democrats.
Cuomo had, until recently, been seen as a shoo-in to win a fourth term next year. The debate now turns on whether it will end even the current one.
In addition to allegations of sexual harassment, Cuomo is under siege for his handling of state affairs retirement homes during the pandemic.
His administration underestimated Covid-linked nursing home deaths, according to the attorney general, after issuing a controversial order last April requiring nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients discharged from hospitals.
Cuomo said the order was issued to protect hospitals from overflowing in the early days of the pandemic, and the discrepancies with deaths in nursing homes were simply a matter of bookkeeping.
But state lawmakers, including his fellow Democrats, accused him of rejecting their requests for retirement home data to protect his political reputation. Some also wondered if the governor was trying to preserve a lucrative deal for a book he wrote on leadership lessons learned during the pandemic.
The publisher of the book – American crisis: Leadership lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic – has stopped promoting the title due to the nursing home investigation and has no plans to reprint or publish it in paperback, according to one declaration of the Crown Publishing Group in the New York Times.
Cuomo, a centrist, and De Blasio, a progressive, are both Democrats but also bitter rivals whose bickering has been exacerbated by the challenges of the pandemic. They have clashed on several occasions over issues such as closing schools and reopening restaurants.
Even when their political views were aligned, the governor often made a point of brutally reminding the mayor of his greatest authority. Behind the scenes, their teams clashed over Covid-19 testing and other public health measures.
Cuomo has taken the upper hand in the Albany-New York rivalry – even more so after being nationally acclaimed for his early handling of the pandemic. But as he became vulnerable, De Blasio took the opportunity to bait him – even admitting he could challenge the governor at the end of his term.
Last month, De Blasio publicly backed the claims of state assembly member Ron Kim, who said Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him for criticizing his retirement home policies. “Sad to say. . . but it’s a classic Andrew Cuomo, ”the mayor said, adding,“ Bullying is nothing new. “