Emu Devine
Head Copy Editor

Update: Since the publication of this article on March 9, 2021, more allegations have been made public.

Trigger Warning: This article mentions sexual assault. Please read with caution.

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo is in some hot water, to say the very least. A member of one of the most powerful families in New York (and brother of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo), Cuomo had been criticized from the end of 2020 on for publishing a book on his response to the coronavirus pandemic. This criticism spawned both from his making money off of a pandemic and human suffering, as well as focusing on writing said book instead of his job as governor as the pandemic continued to ravage New York and the rest of the nation. Normally, you’d expect this to end here — a politician does an insensitive and arguably corrupt thing, nothing ever gets done, and the public is forced to move on. If you thought that here, though, boy would you be wrong!

Since then, Gov. Cuomo started his 2021 off with a bang! — and by bang, of course, I mean several disturbing and definitely corrupt scandals. To begin, there were already rumors over the last several months that the Cuomo administration had participated in some sort of illegal activity surrounding coronavirus deaths. It wasn’t until February that this was confirmed by whistleblower Melissa DeRosa, Gov. Cuomo’s Chief of Staff.

His administration engaged in a cover-up of the amount and severity of coronavirus deaths in New York nursing homes, an act that was allegedly politically motivated. The Cuomo administration was afraid that the accurate number of deaths would be used to attack Gov. Cuomo by Republicans, and that it was necessary to artificially lower them. This was only the beginning, though, as, since then, five women spoke out against Cuomo and claimed he had sexually harassed or assaulted them. Those numbers are only accurate as of March 8, however, and it’s very possible that more could come forward in the coming days or weeks.

Cuomo has become extremely defensive over both of these controversies, and has simultaneously apologized for both while continuing to deny anything intentional or illegal ever happened, a stance that makes no sense for a man pleading innocent. This is in spite of the fact that more recent reports on the nursing home cover-up indicate that Cuomo himself covered up almost 10,000 coronavirus deaths, something confirmed by the Health Department. Again, this was motivated by not wanting Trump to get brownie points by daring to criticize him, indicating Cuomo’s ego is so soft that it’s honestly comparable to Trump’s.

In addition, two of the five currently known sexual assault survivors of Cuomo’s came out publicly following his “apology” to corroborate the stories of the other women involved, emphasizing how weak his statement was. But wait, there’s more! Recent reports from his accusers, four of which are former aides in his office, claim Cuomo himself directed staff members to take mandatory sexual harassment training on his behalf. You know, typical irresponsible behavior of a misogynist and narcissist.

To touch more specifically on the stories of these women, one former aide, Charlotte Bennett, received inappropriate remarks and questions from Cuomo. The other three — Ana Liss, Lindsey Boylan, and Karen Hilton — also accused him of making unwanted advances, trying to get intimate, and trying to kiss them. Cuomo claimed one of these women, Karen Hilton, is a “longtime political adversary” and therefore must be lying, which makes no sense considering she was Cuomo’s employee in his administration, obviously implying they agree politically.

As for the fifth woman, Anna Ruch — she claimed Cuomo attempted to assault her at a wedding, getting physical with her, calling her “aggressive” when she brushed him off of her, and then proceeded to aggressively try to kiss her and grab her. This is arguably the most perverted and disturbing example of Cuomo’s behavior, illustrating that this is who he is on an everyday basis, wherever he goes. It just so happens that he’s one of the most powerful governors in the country, and, therefore, is around his aides more often to act like a creep. Regardless, he’s still a sick freak.

The fallout of these scandals has been massive for New York Democrats. The legislature already stripped him of his emergency powers for the pandemic, and the Democratic heads of the state Senate and Assembly have called for him to resign, something that he has refused. However, to anyone who knows anything about the Cuomo’s, this is anything but a surprise. How is it a shock that the most powerful political family in New York is corrupt and acts grotesquely? There was talk about Andrew Cuomo’s misconduct in office for a long time now; it was only a matter of time before the evidence surfaced publicly. It’s only ironic that it happened for two separate, unrelated types of crime simultaneously.

You don’t even have to look far to see the prediction of the Cuomos’ future: Joe Percoco, longtime political aide of the entire Cuomo family and a man referred to as Mario Cuomo’s (father of Andrew and Chris Cuomo) “third son” by current Governor Andrew Cuomo himself, was sentenced to six years in prison in 2018 on corruption charges. This was the family’s closest staff member for the last several decades, and considered as close to them as the rest of the family — if he was guilty of abusing his office while working with the Cuomos, how in the world is Gov. Cuomo not doing the same thing?

The human embodiment of nepotism, elitism, and White privilege, Cuomo acting like coronavirus deaths are playing cards and treating women as objects is the most expected behavior ever. As more information on both of these controversies continues to come out, or even if a third, separate controversy was to break out, this was a long time coming and disrespectful to act surprised at. He’s a power-hungry elitist that absolutely will never resign, and nothing will stop him short of impeachment or a recall. The people of New York are just lucky enough his term is up next year, so this incompetent sociopath will be out of power soon regardless.

Featured Image: Sage Amdahl / Quaker Campus

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