Most people told me it would never happen.
And so I prepared myself that after almost a year and a half of shouting for answers and accountability from New York’s 56th governor, I would probably never see the day Andrew Mark Cuomo would step down, or be forced to leave office.
But, now, it is finally happening. The headlines speak of Andrew Cuomo’s career coming to an end.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Letitia James’s office released the results of an extensive investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The results were devastating and disgusting.
James, a Democrat and onetime ally to Cuomo, released a 165-page report concluding that the governor had sexually harassed multiple women and used his office to intimidate at least one accuser, in violation of state and federal law. It brought a 9.0 magnitude earthquake through the New York political scene and suddenly, there were statements and calls for Cuomo’s resignation (which he has so far ignored).
Incredibly, after all these months, a chorus of Democratic lawmakers in Albany joined with those in our nation’s capital calling for the governor of New York to resign. That included the most powerful Democrat in office: President Joe Biden.
Carl Heastie, the speaker of the New York House of Representatives, said that if the governor does not resign, he will be impeached.
Many have asked if it bothers me that after all of Cuomo’s scandals, including the deadly nursing home investigations (and the cover-up), it’s the #MeToo movement that’s bringing him down. Since May 2020, I’ve been an advocate for the over 15,000 elderlies that died in New York nursing homes, including my husband’s parents.
But it’s only this past week we’ve seen sudden breathless coverage of his scandals with glaring headlines: for his alleged mistreatment, harassment and assault of at least 11 women.
My answer is this: he deserves to go, no matter what the charges. Ultimately, it’s his behavior that’s gotten him here.
The report into his conduct demonstrates his arrogance and strong sense of infallibility. It’s those traits of his, I believe, that also led to the deaths of thousands of our greatest generation in care homes.
The only thing I ask is that people don’t forget our loved ones, the over precious lives whose deaths could have been prevented. We still don’t know why the governor issued the order to prevent care homes from turning away COVID-positive patients, the match that sent ‘fire through dry grass’, as ProPublica put it. We also don’t know why he chose not to send the sick patients to the facilities provided by the federal government.
The fact that he spent months on television promoting himself, his book and his Emmy award instead of writing condolence cards or meeting with grieving families will always sit badly with me. While he was congratulating himself and his leadership, we were crushed with sorrow, unable to see our loved ones before they died, or have a wake or a funeral afterwards.
There are several investigations underway here in New York that I hope people won’t forget. We still need to hear the whole truth and nothing by the truth from the governor and his staff when it comes to why his policies helped end thousands of lives.
All I ask is to not forget those victims. The ones that unknowingly risked their lives, alone. They deserve justice — so that what happened in New York last year never happens to another family.
Isn’t it ironic that the guy that loved the spotlight so much, who thrived off of his TV appearances, who was crowned ‘the pandemic politician’, who wrote memoirs, and won Emmys, is now trying to avoid the attention he craves so much?
Maybe he does deserve that acting award for fooling so many — but not those of us who saw the real person behind the bright lights.
The stage has finally gone dark.
Cuomo has nowhere left to go, no one else to blame. Except maybe, finally, himself.
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