Andrew Cuomo is an American lawyer and politician who has served as the 56th governor of New York since 2011. He is a well known individual due to his successes as a politician and the popularity of his journalist brother, Chris Cuomo, and his father and former New York governor, Mario Cuomo.
During the start of Covid-19, New York was a black hole and the supercenter of disease. As governor, Cuomo gave updates and briefings as to how the virus is doing and what he is doing to minimize it. In a matter of months, Cuomo brought down the cases and hospitalizations significantly. He put out multiple executive orders and restrictions, including a mask mandate and a state-wide lockdown, which brought New York back to its feet.
For his ‘masterful’ Covid-19 briefings, he was awarded an Emmy award in November 2020. The Covid briefings took place daily and he updated the people of New York on important Covid information regarding the state, being completely transparent and hopeful. The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced they were rewarding an Emmy to the first real-life politician for these briefings.
“The Governor’s 111 daily briefings worked so well because he effectively created television shows, with characters, plot lines, and stories of success and failure,” the academy’s president and CEO, Bruce Paisner, explained in a statement. “People around the world tuned in to find out what was going on, and New York tough became a symbol of the determination to fight back.”
In possibly the height of his career, he was a significant figure in the Democratic party and was looked up by many government officials and leaders of other states in how he handled some of the worst conditions in New York history. In fact, the talk went so far as to label him the Democratic nominee for the 2024 Presidential election. Many believed his career would skyrocket following his Emmy award and he would join the list of memorable and noteworthy politicians who leave a significant mark on the American people.
According to recent allegations, Cuomo has done just that – but for the wrong reasons. The downfall of his career has arrived just as instant and ferocious as his rise. Based on an extremely detailed and thorough 165-page report by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Cuomo has sexually harassed 11 women and created a hostile working environment for all women in his presence. The report noted “unwelcome and non consensual touching” and other allegations put forth by multiple current and former state officials. It comprises interviews with 179 witnesses and a review of tens of thousands of documents.
The allegations and accusations have been up in the air for months, but the report lays out in immense detail the exact facts and specifics of the allegations. Multiple women have come forward before and during the report and the exact actions, words, and behaviors of Cuomo have lined up to insinuate Cuomo’s harmful and inappropriate behavior towards women.
On Tuesday, Psaki called the allegations against Cuomo “abhorrent” an dPresident Biden gave a speech at the White House calling Cuomo to resign from his position as New York Governor.
“He should resign,” Biden told reporters at the White House. When the allegations were first coming to light in March, the President said the same statement should the accusations be true. He also added, “I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too.” After the release of the report and the confirmation of his behavior, the President still shares the same sentiments as before, despite his close relationship with the Governor.
Multiple other government officials and leaders, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, along with every major Democratic leader in Albany and Washington, is urging for a resignation or impeachment of the Governor. In her statement, she said, “As always, I commend the women who came forward to speak their truth.”
When the President was asked if Cuomo should be impeached if he refuses to resign, he stated, “I understand the state legislature may decide to impeach, I do not know that for a fact.”
Shortly after his statement, New York State House Speaker Carl Heastie announced New York government officials are working towards an impeachment trial for the governor. Many women who came forward about his behavior and demeanor in the workplace are also advocating for the impeachment and possible jail time for violating state and federal laws.
Despite the blaring alarms from his victims, New York officials, and the top politicians and leaders of the US, including the President, Andrew Cuomo is pleading not guilty to any and all accusations. On Tuesday, just hours after the report was released, he released a defensive video denouncing any accusations put forth against him.
“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo said in the video. “I am 63 years old. I’ve lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am.”
Using many tactics to paint himself as a victim of an unjust system and gain sympathy from viewers, he flatly denied any misconduct on his part. “Politics and bias are interwoven throughout every aspect of this investigation,” Cuomo said. “One would be naive to think otherwise, and New Yorkers are not naive.”
The only ounce of accountability he gave was about his gestures towards women in the workplace, which were “meant to convey warmth, nothing more.”
“For that, I apologize,” said the governor. “I now understand that there are generational or cultural perspectives that frankly I hadn’t fully appreciated, and I have learned from this.”
Following the release of his video, Cuomo did not have any following comments about resigning or his potential impeachment trial. He has not given any hints towards leaving his post as Governor and it is clear he and his lawyers will do anything in their power to maintain his position. The only avenue towards kicking him out is a big step taken by New York government officials and possibly the President. What will happen to his career is yet to be known, but it is clear the Democrats should find a new presidential candidate for 2024.