If Gov. Cuomo is impeached, resigns, or clings to office with reduced powers, let the record show:
He was undone by allegations of a nonconsensual kiss, a grope and old-man innuendo rather than for causing up to 15,000 possibly preventable nursing-home deaths and then covering up the blunder.
Lest anyone forget, Cuomo’s Health Commissioner, Howard Zucker, on March 25, 2020, ordered the state’s 619 nursing homes to take in hospitalized COVID-19 patients “requiring acute care.” It was supposedly based on federal rules, but they included no such requirement.
Nursing homes, typically overcrowded, understaffed and poorly run, are ideal environments for spreading the virus. The result: a long-term-facilities death toll which the state first put at 8,505, but which it revised in January to at least 12,743 after months of public pressure to include victims who contracted COVID in nursing homes but didn’t die until they were sent to hospitals. Last month, facing even more pressure, the state owned up to an unimaginable 15,000 fatalities.
Cuomo’s deceptions infuriated the loved ones of victims who were already reeling from their losses. Daniel Arbeeny, whose father died in a nursing home, fumed, “He’s consistently lied and gaslighted us and called us names from the beginning.”
You’d think that such a mass-scale tragedy driven by a reckless government order would be ample cause to remove the governor. But, no — state legislators sat on their hands until they were prompted to action by what the woke world regards as an even graver offense: Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment of seven women, five of whom are former female staffers.
Sexual harassment is an extremely bad thing and evil in its worst forms. It also happens to be illegal in the workplace. Cuomo ought to know that the world has changed since 50 years ago, when my heartbroken mother quit a job she loved after her boss’ “jokes” escalated into a full-blown seduction campaign — and she had no legal recourse.
Cuomo’s behavior went beyond merely bad form. Only a fool would not regard his actions as sexual overtures, even if he never texted nude photos of himself to a 15-year-old girl as Anthony Weiner did, nor patronized prostitutes like Eliot Spitzer did, nor ruined a blue dress the way Bill Clinton did.
But splitting hairs over the precise degree of Cuomo’s offenses is pointless. What matters here is moral prioritization. Democratic members of the state legislature — the only body with the authority to remove the governor — held their fire until the sexual-
harassment claims emerged.
In other words, progressives clearly consider crimes relating to life and death secondary to those involving sleazy come-ons.
Until the women’s tales trickled out, Democratic lawmakers in Albany were too chicken to boot Cuomo over the nursing-home catastrophe. They granted him a free pass except for some scattered, toothless grumbling over his months-long refusal to turn over data demanded by victims’ families.
The know-no-evil pattern mostly continued even after The Post reported on Feb. 11 that Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, owned up to fudging the true death toll. Only Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim had the guts to say on Feb. 19 that Cuomo should “consider” resigning over the nursing-home scandal. But not until Feb. 24 did other Albany pols call for the same. What lit their righteous fires that day was a Medium.com essay posted by former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan about how his harassment had made her job a living hell.
Boylan, the married mother of a young daughter, was justifiably horrified when the governor allegedly ambushed her with a smooch on her lips inside his closed-door office. Four other women followed with their own sordid recollections of working for Cuomo. He “apologized” if he’d been misunderstood. But then came the bombshell accusation on Thursday that he had once reached under the blouse of a female aide and groped her while they were alone in the executive mansion. Now, at least 59 Democratic legislators are demanding Cuomo step down.
As they cry for his head, most are citing the sexual-harassment claims first, followed by the deaths of thousands. On March 7, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins pointed to the “allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the COVID-19 nursing home data, and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project.”
Thanks for mentioning the nursing homes, Stewart-Cousins, but the real outrage over that story wasn’t just about “data.”
Assemblyman Tom Abinanti joined the Cuomo-must-go chorus on March 3 after a third woman joined the governor’s accusers, declaring: “Three strikes and you are out.”
I guess 15,000 deaths weren’t enough strikes to wake lawmakers out of their woke delusions.