Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t taken a question from a reporter in nearly two weeks as accusations of both sexual misconduct and coronavirus mismanagement mount against him.
Cuomo has spent a lot of time during the coronavirus pandemic in front of cameras, or writing his book. He held near-daily press briefings as COVID-19 ravaged New York City and had numerous interviews with his brother, Chris Cuomo, on CNN. Cuomo now hasn’t taken media questions since Feb. 19, according to The Associated Press.
The long break comes as three women have come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment, and evidence continues to mount that COVID-19 policies he at least signed off on may have led to thousands of deaths in nursing homes.
Cuomo’s state legislature also appears to be turning against him, with Republicans and Democrats striking a deal to strip him of his emergency pandemic powers. Under the bill, Cuomo would no longer be able to make policy decisions regarding the pandemic without input from the state legislature. (RELATED: ‘The Time Has Come’: First New York Congressional Democrat Calls For Cuomo To Resign After Third Allegation’)
“We certainly see the need for a quick response but also want to move toward a system of increased oversight, and review,” state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in a statement to NBC. “The public deserves to have checks and balances. Our proposal would create a system with increased input while at the same time ensuring New Yorkers continue to be protected.”
Cuomo is also facing an independent investigation from the state attorney general’s office into the allegations of sexual misconduct. The three accusers claim Cuomo made inappropriate sexual comments or touched them inappropriately and tried to kiss them.
The second accuser, Charlotte Bennett, says Cuomo never touched her but made numerous queries about her sex life.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” she told The New York Times. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”
Cuomo denied wrongdoing, but offered an apology Sunday to anyone who misunderstood his “levity and banter” as “unwanted flirtation.”