New York governor Andrew Cuomo refused to resign on Friday, hours after a majority of the state’s Congressional Democrats called on him to step down over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in nursing homes and allegations of sexual harassment.
“I’m not going to resign. I was not elected by the politicians. I was elected by the people,” Cuomo said during a press call.
“People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture, and the truth,” Cuomo added, referring to the allegations against him. “”I’m not part of the political club, and you know what? I’m proud of it.” Cuomo’s father Mario was a three-term governor of the state, Cuomo served as Housing and Human Development Secretary in the Clinton administration, and he married a member of the Kennedy family.
Cuomo is under fire in part after his administration misrepresented the number of state nursing home residents who died of coronavirus. The governor’s March 25, 2020, executive order, mandating that nursing homes accept coronavirus patients discharged from hospitals, may have caused between several hundred and one thousand additional deaths.
Six women have alleged that Cuomo sexually harassed them, including one who accuses the governor of groping her under her blouse at the Executive Mansion last year. Cuomo has denied inappropriately touching other women, but acknowledged that his comments to women may have made them feel “uncomfortable.”
“I won’t speculate about people’s possible motives, but I can tell you, as a former attorney general who has gone through this situation many times, there are often many motivations for making an allegation,” Cuomo said on Friday. His comments differ sharply from those he made when Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was hit with a series of sexual harassment allegations during his confirmation process.
“Only a political skeptic could find a reason to disbelieve her. What is her possible motive to lie?” he said at the time.
Cuomo also signed legislation in 2019 that lowered the burden of proof for sexual harassment and assault charges.