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N.Y. Senators Schumer, Gillibrand Call On Cuomo to Resign

Senators Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) deliver remarks on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan, November 2020. (Andrew Kelly / Reuters)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) on Friday called for New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation amid concurrent scandals involving the governor’s mishandling of COVID patients in nursing homes during the pandemic and his subsequent coverup of the mishandling, as well as seven sexual-harassment allegations that have been made against him.

“Confronting and overcoming the COVID crisis requires sure and steady leadership,” a joint statement from the senators said. 

“We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct,” the statement adds. “Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign.” 

Earlier on Friday, Representatives Jerry Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Jamaal Bowman joined the majority of their fellow New York Democrats in calling for the governor’s resignation.

“Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the people of New York. Governor Cuomo must resign,” Nadler, who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote in a statement.

“After two accounts of sexual assault, four accounts of harassment, the Attorney General’s investigation finding the Governor’s [administration] hid nursing home data from the legislature & public, we agree with the 55+ members of the New York State legislature that the Governor must resign,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter, in a joint statement with Bowman.

Calls for resignation also came from Representatives Grace Meng, Mondaire Jones, Sean Patrick Maloney, Yvette Clarke, Adriano Espaillat, Antonia Delgado, and Nydia Velazquez. Representative Kathleen Rice came out for Cuomo’s resignation on March 1.

One day earlier, New York State Assembly speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat from the Bronx, announced that the body’s judiciary committee would open an impeachment inquiry into the governor’s conduct.

However, as of Friday Cuomo continued to maintain his innocence and refused to resign. He rebuked lawmakers who called for him to step down as “reckless and dangerous.”

“I did not do what has been alleged, period,” Cuomo said.

The mounting calls for the governor to resign come one day after the Albany Times Union reported that a sixth woman had accused the governor of sexual misconduct.

A member of the executive chamber staff, whose name the paper withheld, says the governor “reached under her blouse and began to fondle her” last year at the Executive Mansion after she had been called to do work, according to the report.

A source reportedly told the paper that the woman, who is much younger than the 63-year-old governor, told Cuomo to stop and that her “broader allegations include that he frequently engaged in flirtatious behavior with her, and that it was not the only time that he had touched her.”

New York attorney general Letitia James is conducting an independent investigation of the allegations. 

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