All 20 Republican State Senators in New York have joined the call, with at least 40 of the state’s 63 total senators supporting the call to resign, along with 59 Democrats from the State Assembly and New York Senate.
They released a statement saying: “The Governor's office is under a cloud of multiple scandals and ongoing investigations. New Yorkers need a leader to focus on the important work facing this state, but the ability of this Governor to be anything but a distraction is damaged beyond repair. He must resign for the good of all New Yorkers. If the Governor does not resign, the next step is impeachment.”
On Thursday, the state’s assembly speaker authorized an impeachment investigation into the misconduct allegations.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has never been a big fan of Cuomo, told reporters during a press briefing that he believes the governor should resign, saying: "He can no longer serve as governor.”
He added: "The latest report...[t]hat the governor called an employee in of his, someone who he had power over, called them to a private place and then sexually assaulted her, is absolutely unacceptable. It is disgusting to me."
Governor Cuomo, who is about halfway through his third term, has been accused by several women of sexual harassment that runs the gamut from inappropriate comments and unwanted kisses to groping.
A former aide says that he probed her about her sex life and indicated interest in having an affair with her. One woman said that he called her to a dimly lit hotel room after a work event and pulled her toward his body and held her before she backed away and escaped. Another woman claims he put his hand on her bare lower back at a wedding and then called her “aggressive" when she removed it and tried to kiss her. Yet another aide says he kissed her on the lips without consent, prompting her to resign. Cuomo denies he has ever touched a woman inappropriately.
Although Cuomo was quick to say that all women should be believed when Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct as a Supreme Court nominee, he apparently does not believe that he should be held to the same standard, saying: “I am not going to resign because of allegations. There is no way I resign.”
He maintains that these women somehow “misconstrued” his sexual advances and that he “never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable” – in other words, it’s their problem, not his.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James is overseeing an independent inquiry into the women’s allegations, and the findings will be made public once it has concluded.
Another issue behind the resignation calls is Cuomo's office's coverup and under-reporting of the number of nursing home residents who died of coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic in his state under a poorly conceived state policy that required hospitals to send elderly patients who were infected with the disease back to their long-term care facilities, where their infections then spread and may have led to thousands of deaths that could have been prevented.
The governor’s aides altered a health department report to conceal COVID-19 deaths among those living in nursing homes to strengthen his reputation as the state’s leader. It was rewritten to omit more than 9,000 nursing home resident deaths recorded by the state’s health department. Three top Cuomo aides with no public health expertise were involved in changing the report, a move that led to tense exchanges with the health officials who wrote the original report.
An investigation is underway into the nursing home deaths during the pandemic.
Sources for this article include: