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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Speak Up and Step Down

Andrew+Cuomo
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Andrew Cuomo

In recent weeks, the idolized American governor, New York’s Andrew Cuomo, has met his potential demise. From the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic, all eyes were glued on Cuomo. His remarkable leadership was recognized and treasured when other officials did little to facilitate a call of action when thousands of Americans were dying across the country. There were calls for Cuomo to be recognized as a presidential candidate for his success in handling the pandemic in New York. 

Cuomo was heralded as a nationwide savior. Now he is the nation’s coward. 
On March 25, 2020, Cuomo’s administration implemented a state mandate that required nursing homes to admit patients who had been treated and discharged for COVID-19, regardless of whether they were still positive. The point of the mandate was to relieve hospitals and frontline workers that were overwhelmed and at capacity with positive, dying patients. However, this legislation was met with massive apprehension from all sides of the political spectrum. The reasoning behind sticking very contagious sick people with, at the time, a very misunderstood upper respiratory infection with thousands of high-risk elderly warrants cries for explanation. Cuomo stressed that there were very few options. People were dying rapidly, and there wasn’t an available hospital bed for weeks. A solution was needed, and nursing homes provided one.

However, a year later on Feb. 15, 2021, Cuomo admitted he fabricated the nursing home death count last year, presumably to avoid criticism. His reasoning was that his office was busy dealing with a federal request from August 2020, which he dealt with the following September. Why the delay of five months to respond to lawmakers’ skepticism? Well, that was because Cuomo’s aides were busy falsifying the deaths in New York’s care homes and only reporting 6,432 deaths in July of last year. Thousands of American deaths weren’t reported to protect the ego of Cuomo’s mandate from deserved blame. 

As if his confidence wasn’t big enough, within the past few weeks, at least six women have come forward with detailed allegations against the governor concerning inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment. 

Fortunately, or as fortunate as this type of situation can be, people are listening. New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called for Cuomo to resign for, among other things, “sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, [and] the loss of credibility surrounding the COVID-19 nursing home data.” Other top New York lawmakers like State Sen. Liz Krueger and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie have also questioned Cuomo’s ability to properly govern. Krueger said in a tweet, “I stand with Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins in calling for the Governor to resign,” and Heastie released a statement saying that he, too, “share[s] the sentiment of Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins.” 

As for the now six allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo, they’re pretty troublesome to read and comprehend. Charlotte Bennett, a former aide to Cuomo, told the New York Times that Cuomo had sexually harassed her last year. She alleged that Cuomo asked her about her sex life and if she would have sex with older men. Bennett said, “I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared.” 

Lindsey Boylan, another administration aid, published her story describing years of harassment from Cuomo. Graphic stories detail Cuomo suggesting to play “strip poker” and a non-consensual kiss from the governor. 

Anna Ruch, who had never met Cuomo prior to the incident, accused him of inappropriately putting his hands on her exposed lower back and asking to kiss her at a wedding. Here’s the photo of the incident.

Then two more allegations were reported, Karen Hinton and Ana Liss, both former aides. Hinton said in 2000, Cuomo pulled her into an unwelcomed, intimate embrace. After her rejection, he attempted another. Liss shared that Cuomo made her feel uncomfortable after he inquired about her romantic relationships and kissed her hand. Then, on Tuesday, March 9 a sixth woman reported another inappropriate encounter with Cuomo where she alleges he touched her at the governor’s mansion last year, reported by the Times Union

Cuomo said on March 3 at a conference that he “feels awful about it,” but apparently not awful enough. Supposedly touching Ruch’s bare back, asking Bennett if she’d sleep with older men and kissing Boylan non-consensually isn’t awful enough to resign, right? In fact, Cuomo said he refuses to resign and that it would be “undemocratic.” By all means, someone please explain that justification.

Cuomo’s reputation was already plunging; now he is sunk.

It’s heartbreaking to realize the depths of the scandals in which Cuomo is involved. It’s enough to warrant impeachment for lying and invalidating the multiple thousand deaths of his citizens, but it’s the tip of the iceberg with several sexual harassment and grooming allegations. 

Let’s all be honest, it’s time for Andrew Cuomo to reap what he sows. 

Kaelin Connor is a psychology junior and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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