After facing increasing scrutiny over recent sexual harassment allegations, the latest controversy is now raising questions about Cuomo’s possibly unethical vaccine distribution in New York.
Over the weekend, news broke that a longtime aide of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the current leader of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, called county officials in New York to discern their loyalty to the governor.
The new scandal comes after increased criticism and calls for the governor’s resignation over recent sexual harassment allegations.
In the original story, released by The Washington Post, the county officials contacted by the “vaccine czar” said that the calls felt “unsettling” and raised concerns over the ethical, equitable, and unpolitical distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Until a full investigation is complete the White House will not publicly condemn Cuomo over the allegations. They plan to continue working with Governor Cuomo to distribute vaccines to New Yorkers.
“I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us,” the President said yesterday as Good Morning DC reported.
The administration is also trusting the checks put in place to ensure that any unethical distribution of vaccines is prevented or reported to the White House or CDC for further action.
“We were concerned, of course, about the reports of this inappropriate behavior, but we also have many steps that are already in the system to ensure that the people of New York, the people of any state, are getting the vaccines, are distributed fairly and equitably,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Governor Cuomo is still the head of the National Governors Association that meets weekly to discuss the pandemic and the vaccine roll-out progress in each state. The Biden administration has no plans to replace Cuomo and said that the decision to remove or replace Cuomo as the head of the NGA is up to the association itself.
As the administration awaits the conclusion of the investigation regarding the sexual harassment allegations, the White House is asking that any women who speak up be treated kindly and with dignity.
“We find [the allegations] troubling, the president finds them troubling, hard to read and every woman who steps forward needs to be treated with dignity and respect,” Psaki said.