Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo might just survive the ongoing impeachment effort against him as pressure for his resignation continues, much like Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam survived a scandal relating to an old yearbook photo showing an image of two men, one in blackface and one in KKK robes.
Cuomo, once the corporate media and Democratic party’s poster child for pandemic leadership, has found himself embattled in two major scandals. The first being how Cuomo’s administration allegedly covered up COVID-19 nursing home deaths stemming from an order that required nursing homes to accept recovering COVID-19 patients. The other is that eight women have accused the New York governor of sexual misconduct.
A photo in a 1984 yearbook from Northam’s Eastern Virginia Medical School showed a photo of two men, one of whom was allegedly Northam, dressed in blackface and the other in KKK robes. Northam apologized “for the hurt that decision” to wear a racist costume caused, according to the Washington Post, but later backtracked and claimed he wasn’t in the photo. An investigation of the 1984 photo’s origins ended inconclusively, and Northam continues to serve as the governor of Virginia.
Vice President Kamala Harris, a California Senator at the time, called for Northam’s resignation in 2019.
Cuomo ordered nursing homes and other care facilities readmit individuals who were recovering from COVID-19 March 25, 2020. Cuomo would eventually rescind the order, but over that time period, more than 9,000 COVID-19 positive patients were put back into nursing homes, a Feb. 11 report from the Associated Press discovered.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that Cuomo’s government was omitting an unknown number of nursing home residents who died in the hospital from COVID-19 from their total COVID-19 nursing home death count on May 15, 2020. The report was published just days after the New York governor rescinded his order May 10, 2020.
Cuomo’s administration admitted in January that nearly 13,000 nursing home residents had died from COVID-19, a figure that was 50% higher than previously reported by the New York government, according to the Associated Press. Further reporting from the New York Post revealed that Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s secretary to the governor, told the state’s Democratic leaders that the administration withheld nursing home data out of fear it would “be used against us” by President Donald Trump’s administration.
This series of bombshell reports caused a number of New York Republicans and Democrats to take action against Cuomo. New York Democratic leaders introduced a resolution Feb. 22 to censure Cuomo.
The scandal also drew the attention of national politicians. Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in a Feb. 19 statement that she “support[s] our state’s return to co-equal governance and stand with our local officials calling for a full investigation of the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during COVID-19.” A Feb. 24 letter sent by Republican members of the House Oversight Committee asked Democratic Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney to subpoena Cuomo.
Today is the anniversary of your March 25th mandate that ordered over 9,000 infected patients into nursing homes. Haven’t seen a tweet for that yet. https://t.co/iewtjIfe3H
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) March 25, 2021
Cuomo started to get more media attention after the sexual misconduct allegations and several of his Democratic colleagues have spoken out against him. Democrats (such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden) have all responded to the sexual harassment allegations.
Cuomo has allegedly threatened New York lawmakers who have spoken out against him. Democratic New York Assemblyman Ron Kim said Cuomo called him after he spoke out against the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 nursing home crisis during which Cuomo threatened “to ruin” his career. The call, according to Kim, “left my wife in tears for two hours.” He also has on multiple occasions denied the sexual harassment and assault allegations levied against him by an ever-growing number of alleged victims.
The call to impeach Cuomo or pressure him into resigning has gained momentum across New York’s bicameral legislature. At least 59 Democrats have called on Cuomo to resign. If the 40 lawmakers in the New York Assembly joined with the 31 Republican assembly members who have called for Cuomo’s impeachment, the House would be just five votes short of the 76 votes required to impeach Cuomo. If Cuomo were to be impeached, he would lose his powers until acquitted, and Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul would become acting governor.
However, some of these members believe that New York’s Democratic leadership is trying to appear as if they are taking these scandals seriously by investigating the issues in the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, but in reality they’re buying Cuomo much needed time. “The idea of a committee feels like we’re just kicking a can, to be quite honest,” Assemblywoman Jessica González-Rojas said on a March 11 call with various New York Democratic legislators, Yahoo News reported. “I don’t think the Judiciary Committee goes far enough, and I do worry we’re just buying time,” she added. However, Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie defended his decision, saying, “I try to come up with something that’s best for the body. Everybody might not love it, everybody may not like it, but I try to get us to a comfortable place that protects the integrity of this house,” according to Yahoo News.
Northam survived his blackface scandal, and just recently singed into law a bill that ends the death penalty in Virginia, drawing a positive response from several left-wing figures. (RELATED: 7 Headlines That Might Have Happened If Andrew Cuomo Were A Republican)
Virginia just abolished the death penalty! This BARBARIC system disproportionately punishes Black and brown people! We now have a fair chance to fight for REAL criminal justice reform! Thanks to Gov. Ralph Northam for signing this historic bill. https://t.co/HI40NApQOn
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) March 25, 2021
Ari Fleischer, a Fox News contributor and Former White House press secretary for George Bush, predicted that Cuomo is following the “Northam Model” to survive these scandals on Fox News’ March 11 broadcast of “Outnumbered.”
“You know these things only go two ways. If somebody has a moral compass and they did it, they tend to end up resigning,” Fleischer said of Cuomo’s resignation prospects. “If they are just stubborn as can be like the Governor of Virginia, Northam, after his black face scandal, they can ride it out if they’re a Democrat. So I suspect Governor Cuomo’s got the Northam model in mind and he’s just gonna ride this out because he stubborn and he won’t admit to wrongdoing, no matter how high the evidence piles up,” Fleisher added.
Earlier in the segment, Fleisher blasted the corporate media and Democrats for their double-standard when it comes to sexual harassment allegations. “Just remember this the next time a Republican gets accused of something. Will the Democrats give them the same courtesy?” Fleischer said.
The Daily Caller asked Northam’s office if he believed Cuomo would survive these scandals and did not receive a response at the time of publication.