Exactly one year ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was riding high – a media sensation with daily news conferences broadcast around the nation as he led his state through the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
He was on TV nightly, often interviewed by his own brother Chris Cuomo in chummy CNN segments.
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And the media couldn’t get enough of his barbs aimed at then-President Donald Trump as the two fought over the response to the crisis.
There was even talk that Democratic powerbrokers could move behind the scenes to dump then-candidate Joe Biden and put Cuomo on the ticket in his place.
What happened since then was a stunning fall from grace that seems to hit daily new lows for the governor as he’s rocked by scandal after scandal, both personal and political.
Today, he’s in a fight for his career as he clings to office despite growing calls for his resignation – even from within his own party.
And his downfall may have started during what the media called his biggest triumph.
On March 25, 2020… at the height of the fawning nightly TV coverage… Cuomo signed an order that forced nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients.
It was meant to help empty beds in overwhelmed hospitals.
But critics say that was the spark that lit a flame of infection as the virus ripped through nursing homes across the state.
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Patients’ families noticed the spike in infections and countless deaths – and demanded answers.
Instead, they got the runaround as Cuomo-run state agencies allegedly fixed the books to downplay and even hide those nursing home deaths.
But they couldn’t keep it quiet forever.
By late August, facing questions from the Justice Department, the state admitted that at least 6,600 nursing home patients died of the infection.
Except even that wasn’t the full story.
Cuomo-led agencies used sleight-of-hand to hide deaths – only counting, for example, deaths that took place literally inside nursing homes, and not patients who were transferred back to hospitals because they were so sick.
By January, the state’s own attorney general – Letitia James, a fellow Democrat – found that the true number was north of 12,000.
Or so it seemed.
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After a judge ordered the release of more records, the state had to admit that more than 15,000 patients died in conditions related to the nursing home scandal – and in a shocking confession in February, Cuomo’s secretary admitted they hid some numbers.
All the while, Cuomo lashed out at those who questioned his ill-fated order to force sick patients into nursing homes, and was even caught on tape threatening one critic.
This timeline alone would be enough to sink any other politician of either party.
But Cuomo had a second scandal emerge late last year when former aide Lindsey Boylan accused him in December of sexual harassment, which she said happened for years.
“Many saw it, and watched,” she wrote on Twitter.
He denied the allegations.
But then the other heel dropped. And the other. And the other. And the other…
In February, former aide Charlotte Bennett made her own allegations of sexual harassment.
She would later call him a “textbook abuser” in a CBS interview.
Cuomo vowed an investigation… of himself… and named a longtime ally to run it.
That smelled fishy to Attorney General Letitia James, who demanded – and eventually was granted – the right to do the investigation out of her own office on March 1.
That same day, a third woman, Anna Ruch, came forward to say she was touched and kissed by the governor against her will at a 2019 wedding.
Two more women came forward on March 6… and another on March 9… and by the end of March, 10 women had claimed the governor sexually harassed them.
Now, the New York governor… almost a year to the day since he became a national media celebrity… is facing pressure to step down, leave office and leave politics altogether, and not just from the fringes.
More than 50 New York Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, have urged him to resign.
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Cuomo has refused.
“I don’t think he will resign of his own volition,” Assembly member Zohran Mamdani, a Democrat who has called for him to step down, told City & State.
So they’re working on another plan: Cuomo is now facing the possibility of impeachment, which would be the first in the state in more than a century.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee has just opened the impeachment probe, and what they uncovered will determine what happens next… unless Cuomo finally caves and resigns before then.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert.