STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s refusal to discuss what’s become a nursing home scandal in detail or address the sexual harassment accusations reminds Mayor Bill de Blasio of former President Donald Trump, the mayor said on Thursday.
“To paint an apocalyptic picture [of the city] – that’s what Donald Trump would have done. Throw out some sharp terminologies and gaudy pictures of what’s happening that don’t resemble the reality,” de Blasio said.
The mayor was responding to a question from a WNBC reporter who asked if the mayor felt recent criticisms made by the governor were unfair and about him and his handling of the city during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“He doesn’t want to talk about the nursing home scandal, the cover-up of the facts with nursing homes. He doesn’t want to speak to the families who lost their loved ones. He doesn’t want to speak about the three women who have accused him of sexual harassment. That’s what’s really going on here,” he continued.
Three women have come forward and accused the governor of inappropriate behavior and comments in the workplace, causing many to call for his resignation.
On Wednesday, Cuomo addressed the media for the first time since the accusations. He apologized but said he had no intention of resigning because there was still much work to be done to bring the state back following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and frankly, I’m embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say, but that’s the truth. But this is what I want you to know, and I want you to know this from me directly – I never touched anyone inappropriately. I never touched anyone inappropriately,” Cuomo said.
“I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable. I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable. I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued.
De Blasio said he’s aware of the governor’s “bullying” style of leading and called the behavior inappropriate. He also said his apology doesn’t change anything.
Cuomo asked people wait to form judgement until a thorough investigation has been completed by Attorney General Letitia James.
James is also conducting several nursing home investigations, and issued a scathing report in late January that found deaths related to nursing homes may have been undercounted by as much as 50%.