The old adage “the higher you climb, the harder you fall” is especially true when, as is the case with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the climb is up a mountain built on death and cover-ups, intimidation, abuse and deceit.
Media darling Mr. Cuomo’s rise certainly wasn’t based on deserved praise or glory earned by Mr. Cuomo’s unparalleled governance.
As the walls began to close in around him, Mr. Cuomo used lies, bullying and threats to cover up his use of lies, bullying and threats. This is a reputation that precedes Andrew Cuomo, and it’s not just from his days as governor. This was his reputation that goes all the way back to when his father was the governor, but this time people had enough. Members of his own party, including Assemblyman Ron Kim, members of the media and others began to come forward with their experiences of being harassed by the governor and others on Mr. Cuomo’s behalf.
Their willingness to speak out inspired others to do the same, knowing they were not alone. This includes multiple female staffers, past and current, and other New York women who have expressed detailed allegations of sexual harassment. The unrelenting stories of harassment underscore that Mr. Cuomo institutionalized widespread abuse, which allowed him to continue to prey on those around him for years.
However, Mr. Cuomo refuses to take any responsibility for his actions, which comes in stark contrast to a Republican congressman from New York who, following a single recent public accusation, took full responsibility for his actions in a detailed statement, apologized to his family, the accuser and the public, and announced that he would not seek reelection or another office. Mr. Cuomo on the other hand attacks his accusers, questions their “motives” and criticizes people for believing his accusers, all while doing everything in his power to avoid a truly independent investigation.
Thankfully, it’s now clear to everyone — Republicans, Democrats, the media and all New Yorkers — that Mr. Cuomo is unfit to serve, but these recent allegations of sexual harassment are just the latest reason why Mr. Cuomo’s Gotta Go.
One scandal after the next has overshadowed the fact that 15,000 New Yorkers lost their lives in nursing homes, following the Cuomo administration’s fatally flawed nursing home directive which required over 9,000 infected coronavirus patients to be placed in nursing homes with healthy seniors.
This information didn’t come easy and we have these facts not because of the Cuomo administration, but in spite of it. In fact, his administration actively tried to cover up the true consequences of his failed governing, which weren’t revealed until the release of a report by the New York attorney general — a member of his own party. Mr. Cuomo’s office even admitted to fellow Democrats that nursing home data was withheld to thwart a Department of Justice investigation. For this situation alone, Mr. Cuomo is unfit to serve as our governor and should resign, and what we’ve learned in its wake has only served to underscore that fact, but he’s not going willingly.
It’s clear Mr. Cuomo is unwilling to accept responsibility for just about anything, and he’s not going to change now. It’s up to all of us to end Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reign of power, abuse and criminality.
• Congressman Lee Zeldin represents New York’s First Congressional District in the House of Representatives.