US Andrew Cuomo Hasn't Taken Press Questions for 8 Days in Wake of Sexual Harassment Allegations
The swift rise and disastrous fall of Andrew Cuomo, America's wannabe Covid hero
Democrats need to reckon with the record of politicians on both sides of the aisle who have used Trump, the pandemic, or both to elevate their profile.Cuomo became a hero to Democrats across the country last spring, his stature on par with President Barack Obama, with live-streamed daily press briefings that projected steely resolve and paternal authority in the face of a deadly menace. The New York Times’ media columnist Ben Smith called him “the executive best suited to the coronavirus.” As the 2020 Democratic presidential primary dragged on, buzz circulated that Cuomo would be a better candidate than Biden.
New York Governor, once a daily presence amid the coronavirus pandemic, has been staying out of the public eye in the wake of sexual harassment allegations made against him.
Cuomo's briefings became a daily fixture during the first few months of the pandemic, as he held 110 consecutive meetings with the press between March and June of last year.
But the governor hasn't taken questions from the press since February 22 and hasn't made any public appearances since February 25, as first reported by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. His absence was particularly notable on Monday, which was the one-year anniversary of New York's first confirmed case of the virus.
WH Press Secretary Calls Cuomo Sexual Harassment Allegations 'Serious' and 'Hard to Read'
"President Biden has been consistent that he believes every woman should be heard, should be treated with respect and with dignity," Jen Psaki said.Cuomo, a Democrat, is facing significant criticism and scrutiny after two former staffers came forward alleging the governor sexually harassed them. Lindsey Boylan, who served as deputy secretary for economic development and a special adviser in the Cuomo administration from 2015 to 2018, first came out publicly with allegations against the governor back in December.
Cuomo's lack of public appearances comes after three women have accused him of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment over the past week.
Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to the governor,In a Medium post published last Wednesday, she recounted an instance where Cuomo allegedly kissed her as she attempted to leave his office after a meeting.
"The Governor's pervasive harassment extended beyond just me. He made unflattering comments about the weight of female colleagues. He ridiculed them about their romantic relationships and significant others. He said the reasons that men get women were 'money and power,'" Boylan wrote.
Cuomo's administration denied Boylan's claims of inappropriate behavior as "simply false."
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has faced allegations of sexual assault, bullying, and hiding the true number of COVID-related deaths in state care homes. Over the weekend, a second former aide of Cuomo's came forward with accusations that he sexually harassed her.Charlotte Bennett, a health policy adviser to Cuomo until November, told The New York Times that he had harassed her last year. Another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, has also accused the governor of sexual harassment.On his talk show, Hasan asked Ocasio-Cortez at what point does Cuomo's behaviour become "untenable.
Days later,also a former Cuomo aide, told The New York Times that the governor made her uncomfortable with questions about her sex life and asked whether she would consider dating an older man.
On Monday,also told the Times about alleged unwanted advances. Ruch said that she met Cuomo at a wedding in September 2019, where he put his hand on her exposed lower back. When she removed it with her hand, Ruch alleged the governor said she seemed "aggressive," then put his hands on her cheeks. A photo of the alleged incident was included in the newspaper's story.
Cuomo responded to the sexual harassment allegations on Sunday by saying his "playful" banter had been "misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation."
"I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended," the governor said in a statement.
New York Times: Third woman accuses Cuomo of unwanted advances in 2019 as crisis deepens
A third woman has accused Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of unwanted advances in 2019, The New York Times reported Monday, adding to an escalating crisis facing the governor in the wake of two sexual harassment allegations. © From The New York Times Caption: A third woman, Anna Ruch, has accused Democratic New York Gov.
On Monday, New York Attorney General Letitia James said her office was formally proceeding with an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against the state's top Democrat after she received a referral from his office.
The referral, James said in a statement, gave her "the authority to move forward with an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment claims made against Governor Cuomo. This is not a responsibility we take lightly, as allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously."
Newsweek has reached out to the governor's office for comment on his lack of public appearances but did not hear back before publication.
On Tuesday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked during a press briefing about Cuomo not appearing in public and whether his absence hurts the state's pandemic response.
"I think all leaders have to answer tough questions from the media regardless whether it's convenient," de Blasio responded.
‘Buy some time, and hope that things calm down’: Cuomo’s crisis playbook .
The New York Democrat’s reign as ‘America’s governor’ may have come to an end, but it’s far less certain that his actual governorship is end-stage. Ralph Northam, the Virginia governor who was on a political death watch following his blackface scandal, survived. So did an on-the-ropes President Bill Clinton, in whose administration Cuomo served during impeachment, giving him an up-close look at how to survive the seemingly unsurvivable.