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Why Andrew Cuomo Must Resign

Governor Andrew Cuomo has abused his power and must resign. He has lied to the people of New York and to the lawmakers who depend on his reports to make policy. Then, when he was caught, he lied about when, how, and why he lied. Cuomo and his staff have used state resources to threaten and retaliate against political enemies—as well as the women who have accused him of sexual harassment.

He is petty, controlling, and grandiose. Even worse, he equates bullying with competence.

To be effective, a governor must have the trust of the lawmakers he works with. Cuomo has lost that trust. More than 120 New York lawmakers have demanded his resignation, along with most of the state’s congressional delegation, including Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and the head of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler. The head of the State Finance committee has said she will not speak to Cuomo or his top aides because they are untrustworthy. At a critical time for the state, he keeps bleeding key public health staffers, who can’t bear his disrespect for science.

Right now he is trying to use the fact that he is being investigated by several different entities, including the New York state attorney general, the FBI, and the Department of Justice, to stall for time. If there were questions of fact that could somehow render Cuomo trustworthy and non-abusive, his argument might make sense. But what we already know is more than enough to disqualify him from office.

In April 2020, a month after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, Cuomo issued a health directive requiring nursing homes and homes for people with developmental disabilities to take Covid-19 patients. This ended up being a death sentence for many people. At the same time, he pushed an industry-sponsored bill through the legislature shielding nursing home CEOs—many of them donors to his campaign—from legal liability for dangerous decisions.

In June, the State Health Department reported 9,250 nursing home deaths to the governor’s office. Cuomo’s staff panicked—not because so many people were dying, but because the total was the highest in the country and would make him look bad just as he was riding high in the polls and on the verge of closing a major book deal touting his success handling Covid.

Instead of releasing the Health Department numbers, his office rewrote the report to announce that only 6,200 nursing home patients had died. Lawmakers who needed that data to make policy questioned the figures, but the governor insisted on their accuracy.

Only five months later, after New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report showing deaths had been undercounted by as much as 50 percent, did Cuomo correct the numbers.

His first policy choice was disastrous, but it was the cover-up—half a year of continuously lying to the public—that requires his resignation.

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