Controversies collided for Cuomo

Calls for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign reached a fever pitch Friday after multiple congressional Democrats from the state called on the embattled governor to step down.

Cuomo is facing sexual misconduct allegations from six women and is under fire for his administration’s reporting of nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic. 

While the governor is under investigation for the allegations and his handling of the nursing home deaths, he is showing no sign of stepping down from his post. 

Here’s a timeline of all of the allegations against Cuomo and his administration since last year. 

March 25, 2020

New York’s health department tells nursing homes to admit recovering COVD-19 patients, including those who were still positive for the virus, from hospitals if they are medically stable. 

“No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,” the directive read.

April 17, 2020

New York state began releasing data on nursing home deaths after facing questions over the death toll. Nursing homes self-reported the data, which did not include the names of the facilities with fewer than five deaths. The data also did not show cases where a resident died outside of the facility they were living in. 

April 20, 2020

Cuomo said he was not aware of the health department’s directive about nursing homes having to admit recovering coronavirus patients. 

April 23, 2020

Cuomo says that nursing homes do not have the grounds to object to the directive, but said that if facilities could not properly isolate these patients, they should transfer them or ask the state’s health department for help. 

May 10, 2020

Cuomo signs an executive order rescinding the nursing home directive and implemented a policy that required patients to have a negative coronavirus test in order to be allowed into a nursing home. 

July 6, 2020

New York’s health department releases a report on coronavirus deaths in nursing homes, blaming the asymptomatic staff and visitors for the spread of the virus in nursing homes. The report did not attribute any blame to the former health department directive on transferring patients. 

Aug. 11, 2020

The Associated Press reported that the actual number of nursing home deaths was likely more than the 6,600 deaths reported by the state, and that the real number was likely over 11,000. 

Aug. 19, 2020

Cuomo brushes off concerns about a potential undercounting of deaths in nursing homes. 

“If you die in the nursing home, it’s a nursing home death. If you die in the hospital, it’s called a hospital death,” he said.

Aug. 26, 2020

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sends requests for information on nursing homes during the pandemic to Cuomo’s administration. 

Sept. 30, 2020

Cuomo said his critics on the nursing home death count were politicizing coronavirus deaths. 

"Having someone who lost a loved one, saying to them, well, this was a government mess up, this was unnecessary, your father could be alive, your mother could be alive, your grandmother could be alive, that's just untrue," Cuomo said in a press call. 

Oct. 28, 2020

The DOJ revealed that it was broadening its inquiry into the state’s handling of nursing home deaths, in part, because New York, unlike other states, only counted coronavirus-related deaths of residents who have died on nursing home properties, not those who were taken to the hospital. 

Dec. 13, 2020 

Lindsey Boylan, the former deputy secretary for economic development and a special adviser to Cuomo from 2015 to 2018, said on Twitter that the governor had sexual harassed her for years, and claimed there was numerous witnesses to the incidents. 

Boylan did not share details of her experience. Cuomo denied the accusations in a statement. 

Jan. 28, 2021

A report released by the New York Attorney General Letitia James showed that the state health department may have underreported coronavirus deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent.

Feb. 3, 2021

New York Supreme Court Judge Kimberly O’Connor ruled that the state’s health department must release more information, saying New York illegally withheld data after a state watchdog requested information. 

Feb. 6, 2021

The state’s website is updated to show the actual number of nursing home deaths that took place in hospitals. 

Feb. 11, 2021

The New York Post reported that Melissa DeRosa, a top aide to Cuomo, privately apologized to New York State Democratic lawmakers for withholding the data on COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes. DeRosa reportedly said the administration withheld the deaths because it was afraid the actual data would be “be used against us.” 

Feb. 16, 2021

A number of New York Assembly members draft and send a letter accusing Cuomo of obstruction of justice and calling on his emergency powers to be taken away. 

Feb. 17, 2021

Cuomo criticizes the New York Post’s reporting on DeRosa’s comments and the letter, as well as Assemblyman Ron Kim, who was quoted in the letter. CNN later reported that Kim accused Cuomo of threatening him in a phone call after the New York Post broke the story about DeRosa’s comments. 

That same day, the Albany Times Union reports that federal prosecutors in Brooklyn and the FBI were investigation the Cuomo administration’s compiling of nursing home data. 

Feb. 24, 2021

Boylan detailed her allegations against Cuomo in a widely shared Medium post, accusing the governor of kissing her without consent and making a number of inappropriate remarks during her time working for him. 

She alleged the governor suggested that the two of them “play strip poker” during a flight in October 2017. 

Boylan also said she received an email from another member of Cuomo’s staff, alleging the governor told her he thought she resembled his rumored ex-girlfriend Lisa Shields, saying they “could be sisters,” with Boylan as “the better-looking sister.”

Cuomo’s office denied the allegations, citing his previous response in December. 

"As we said before, Ms. Boylan's claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false,” his office said in a statement. 

Feb. 27, 2021

A second former aide to Cuomo, Charlotte Bennett, accused the governor of sexual harassment in an interview with The New York Times.

Bennett, who was an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until she resigned in November, said the harassment took place last spring when the governor was receiving national recognition for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 

She said the governor asked her a number of personal questions, including if she believed age was relevant in romantic relationships. Bennett said Cuomo told her that he was open to the idea of having relationships with women in their 20s. 

Cuomo responded to the accusations in a statement that day, saying he had intended to serve as a mentor to Bennett, adding that he “never made advances” toward her, “nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.” 

Feb. 28, 2021

Cuomo asked the New York State attorney general and chief appeals judge to name an independent attorney to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against him. The development came after Attorney General Letitia James said Sunday that a referral for an investigation into sexual misconduct claims by Boylan and Bennett must be made by the governor's office and that he should make one "immediately."

March 1, 2021

Anna Ruch became the third woman to publicly accuse Cuomo of misconduct, telling The New York Times that he put his hand on her lower back at a wedding in 2019. 

After she says she removed his hand, Cuomo then placed his hand on her cheeks before asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of Cuomo with his hands on her face was provided to the publication. 

New York Rep. Kathleen Rice (D) later called on Cuomo to resign, becoming the first Democrat from New York’s congressional delegation to call for his resignation. 

March 4, 2021

The Wall Street Journal reported that Cuomo’s advisers pressured state health officials to alter a public report from July over COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. The data was reportedly edited to remove the higher death toll. 

March 6, 2021

Karen Hinton, a former press aide to Cuomo, accused the governor of inappropriate behavior during his tenure as secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development in 2000. 

Hinton told The Washington Post that she was summoned to Cuomo’s Los Angeles hotel room and that he hugged her for a period that she described as "too long, too tight, too intimate.” 

Ana Liss then came forward that day to publicly accuse Cuomo of harassment, telling The Wall Street Journal that the governor on one occasion touched her bare lower back at a reception, and also once kissed her hand when she got up from her desk. 

Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Cuomo, told the Journal in response, “Reporters and photographers have covered the governor for 14 years watching him kiss men and women and posing for pictures. At the public open-house mansion reception, there are hundreds of people, and he poses for hundreds of pictures. That’s what people in politics do.” 

March 10, 2021

The Times Union reported that a female aide to Cuomo alleged he groped her in an aggressive manner after he summoned her to the executive mansion late last year. The unnamed aide, who is the sixth woman to publicly accuse him of sexual harrassment or misconduct, told the publication she was called to the mansion to help him solve technical difficulties with his phone. 

March 11, 2021

The New York Times revealed that Albany Police Department spokesperson Steven Smith told the publication that the department received the referral Wednesday night by New York State Police after the Times Union published the unnamed aide’s account. 

Fifty-five New York State legislators signed a letter calling on Cuomo to resign amid the allegations. They also addressed the nursing home scandal in the letter. 

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) then authorized the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation into Cuomo. 

March 12, 2021

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and a number of New York Democrats called on Cuomo to resign. The other lawmakers included Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, Mondaire Jones, Carolyn Maloney, Yvette Clarke, Nydia Velázquez and Grace Meng 

However, Cuomo was defiant in a midday press call, saying he would not resign from his post. 

“Politicians who don’t know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion are in my opinion reckless and dangerous. The people of New York should not have confidence in a politician who takes an opinion without knowing the facts and substance,” Cuomo said. “People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture and the truth. Let the review proceed, I’m not going to resign, I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people.”

Former reporter Jessica Bakeman became the seventh woman to accuse the governor of sexual misconduct. She told New York Magazine that she was sexually harassed by multiple times throughout her career going back to 2012.  

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