Common Dreams - March 12, 2021

In light of multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as well as lingering outrage over how he handled the coronavirus pandemic in the state's nursing homes, several members of Congress on Friday called for the Democrat to immediately resign.

More than half of the Democratic members of New York's congressional delegation have now joined the majority of state lawmakers and U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice in calling for Cuomo to step down. U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, Mondaire Jones, Nydia Velázquez, Adriano Espaillat, Carolyn Maloney, Grace Meng, Antonio Delgado, Brian Higgins, and Yvette Clarke all issued statements Friday.

The mounting support for Cuomo's resignation comes as the governor—who has apologized for comments he has made in the workplace but denied touching anyone inappropriately—faces an impeachment investigation authorized Thursday by the speaker of the New York Assembly, Democrat Carl Heastie, as well as an indepedent probe for which state Attorney General Letitia James has selected two lawyers. 

Referencing the latest allegation—an aide accused Cuomo of "groping" her while they were alone at the state's Executive Mansion—Ocasio-Cortez and Bowman said in a joint statement: "The fact that this latest report was so recent is alarming, and it raises concerns about the present safety and well-being of the administration's staff. These allegations have all been consistent and highly-detailed, and there are also credible media reports substantiating their accounts."

The progressive pair noted that the governor "is not only facing the accusation that he engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment and assault," but also "the extensive report from the attorney general that found the Cuomo administration hid data on Covid-19 nursing home deaths from both the public and the state legislature."

"As members of the New York delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives," Ocasio-Cortez and Bowman concluded, "we believe these women, we believe the reporting, we believe the attorney general, and we believe the 55 members of the New York State legislature, including the state Senate majority leader, who have concluded that Gov. Cuomo can no longer effectively lead in the face of so many challenges." ...
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