New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) struck a confident tone Monday, pledging to supporters that he will remain governor even as he faces twin investigations over sexual harassment allegations and his administration’s alleged cover up of nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cuomo appeared at an event in which he urged New York residents to get inoculated against coronavirus as soon as possible and called on churches to become vaccination locations. Longtime civil right activist Rev. Al Sharpton made a virtual appearance at the event, Fox News reports.
As Cuomo departed the event, a supporter of the governor offered words of encouragement.
“I love you and you better stay where you are, we’ve got your back,” the woman shouted at Cuomo, prompting him to remove his mask to ask whether she received the vaccine.
“I love you. We love you, we need you at the finish line, you better stay,” the woman said.
Cuomo replied: “Okay, I’m not going anywhere, darling.”
— MRCTV (@mrctv) March 22, 2021
As of Monday, seven women, including current and former aides, have brought forth harassment allegations against the governor. New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched an independent investigation into the scandal, while the New York State Assembly has opened an impeachment probe. Earlier March, top New York Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler have called on Cuomo to resign, saying the state needs a governor whose attention is focused solely on combating the spread of the coronavirus.
“Confronting and overcoming the Covid crisis requires sure and steady leadership. We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct,” Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a joint statement on March 14. “Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also joined the chorus of high-profile New York Democrats urging Cuomo to step aside.
“This week, the second sexual assault allegation and the sixth harassment allegation was leveled against Governor Cuomo,” Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (R-NY) said. “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.”
On top of James’ harassment investigation, Cuomo also faces an FBI investigation into whether his aides provided false data regarding the number of deaths such facilities, reported the New York Times.