Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo gained national attention for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some Americans—facing doubt, fear, grief and loss due to the pandemic—found the Governor’s daily press briefings reassuring; they gave the impression of calm, competent leadership in the midst of chaos. According to City & State New York, Gov. Cuomo “held press conferences for 111 consecutive days,” made “dozens of appearances on national television,” and “even became a social media sensation at times.” In October of last year, the Governor published a book entitled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The following month, Gov. Cuomo received the International Emmy Founders Award “‘in recognition of his leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and his masterful use of TV to inform and calm people around the world.’”
To put it mildly, things have changed.
On February 11, 2021, the New York Post broke a huge story: That Gov. Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, had privately told several Democratic state legislators that information on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes had been deliberately withheld by the Cuomo administration for political reasons. While the Governor attempted to control the damage by holding a Feb. 15 press conference, it is no exaggeration to state that the Post story has turned his political life upside down. Some Members of the Legislature have called for Gov. Cuomo’s resignation. Asm. Ron Kim (D-Queens) has accused the Governor of threatening to “destroy” his career and his future in an effort to get him to keep quiet about the nursing home debacle; the Governor has denied the accusation. Assembly Republicans plan to introduce a resolution calling for Gov. Cuomo’s impeachment. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn have commenced an investigation into the Governor’s conduct, and State Senate leadership intends to pass a bill limiting Gov. Cuomo’s emergency powers.
At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we take no joy in Gov. Cuomo’s troubles. However, it is important that the truth about the tragic situation in New York’s nursing homes—together with the cover-up of that truth—be revealed. It is also important to make sure that nothing like it ever happens again, and to remove the legal authority that has facilitated the Cuomo administration’s misuse and abuse of power over the past year.
NYCF supports Bill S.4888-Biaggi, which would revoke Gov. Cuomo’s emergency powers. Similar legislation is expected in the State Assembly from Assemblymember Ron Kim (D-Queens). Please contact your state legislators today and ask them to co-sponsor this bill and push for an immediate vote.