Andrew Cuomo’s scandals are starting to become an unwelcome distraction for his party.
While the embattled governor is refusing to step aside, New York’s Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat, is calling for him to resign over claims of sexual harassment and an alleged cover-up of coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes in the state.
“Every day there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government,” Stewart-Cousins said in a Sunday statement, according to Breitbart.
“New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health, and economic impacts of it,” Stewart-Cousins added. “We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state, Gov. Cuomo must resign.”
“It’s not appropriate”
In her statement, Stewart-Cousins pointed to “allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the COVID-19 nursing home data, and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project” as reasons for Cuomo to step aside.
After three women came forward, Stewart-Cousins said last week that Cuomo should resign if more accusers emerged.
The dam continued to break this weekend as two more women accused Cuomo of inappropriate behavior. “It’s not appropriate, really, in any setting,” one former staffer said of the governor’s actions, according to the New York Post.
It all represents a stunning fall from grace for a governor once lionized by the press for his response to COVID-19. Cuomo’s approval rating has since taken a sharp turn, with a recent poll finding that it dropped from 71% in April 2020 to just 38%, as the Post notes. A majority of voters say he should not be re-elected.
Long Island Democrat Kathleen Rice has become the first Democrat in the U.S. Congress to call for Cuomo’s resignation, saying “the time has come,” according to Breitbart.
But the governor has refused to acknowledge a shift in circumstances. He said Sunday there’s “no way” he resigns and attacked demands for him to do so as undemocratic.
“I was elected by the people of the state, not by politicians,” Cuomo said, according to CBS News. “I’m not going to resign because of allegations. The premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic.”
The governor has asked for patience and due process until an investigation by New York state Attorney General Letitia James is finished. It remains to be seen, however, if Cuomo will survive this storm, or if this stark turn of fortune proves to be politically fatal.