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Politics

Cuomo puts focus back on Covid amid growing calls for his resignation


Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Moynihan Train Hall.

The more and more embattled governor appeared to lean on his disaster administration playbook as he toured the mass vaccination web site at Manhattan’s Jacob Ok. Javits Conference Heart. | Seth Wenig/AP Photograph

Gov. Andrew Cuomo sought Monday to return focus to New York’s Covid-19 response — and to remind New Yorkers of his early pandemic management — regardless of growing calls for his resignation amid twin scandals that threaten his political future.

The more and more embattled governor appeared to lean on his disaster administration playbookas he toured the mass vaccination web site at Manhattan’s Jacob Ok. Javits Conference Heart, which had been used as an early Army field hospital when Covid-19 first hit his state final March.

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Cuomo touted the variety of Covid-19 pictures being administered on the web site, renewed his pledge to make sure fairness within the vaccination course of and stated New York will set up 10 further state-run mass vaccination websites throughout the state.

Monday’s occasion, which was streamed reside however closed to the press, was a uncommon public look for Cuomo since former staffer Lindsey Boylan detailed allegations of sexual harassment towards him late final month, changing into the primary of a number of ladies to accuse him of inappropriate habits or misconduct. The governor has additionally come below fireplace for his dealing with of Covid-19 in nursing houses, and has been accused of hiding the full variety of deaths tied to long-term care services.

Flanked by state Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker, Javits Heart officers and spiritual leaders, the governor didn’t stray from pandemic-related bulletins as he once more urged minority communities disproportionately affected by the virus to “belief” the vaccine and introduced 10 new state-run mass vaccination websites throughout New York.

However he did take a slight jab at Albany lawmakers who have called for his resignation in latest days.

“I’ve no agenda moreover representing the folks of the state of New York. That is what I do. I do not characterize or work for the politicians in Albany,” he stated, noting the “lack of belief” some New Yorkers could have about getting vaccinated. “I work for the folks of the state.”

The governor’s late-morning remarks on Monday got here at some point after he stated throughout a convention name with reporters that he will not resign, at the same time as he‘s confronted further claims about his conduct with ladies and the robust tradition in his places of work. Cuomo additionally stated final week that he had no plans to resign when he made his first public look because the sexual harassment accusations surfaced in late February. It stays unclear whether or not Cuomo will nonetheless search a fourth time period.

Two of the states high Democrats on Sunday known as into questions the governor’s potential to guide the state as he faces the scandals. State Senate Majority Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins urged Cuomo to step down, saying the “allegations about sexual harassment, a poisonous work atmosphere [and] the lack of credibility surrounding the Covid-19 nursing dwelling knowledge [are] drawing away from the enterprise of presidency.“ Meeting Speaker Carl Heastie, in flip, stated Cuomo ought to “critically contemplate” whether or not he stays in workplace.

Cuomo has discovered few defenders in his get together’s ranks, at the same time as different Democrats have been reluctant to go so far as the legislative leaders. Just like the governor, although, some are urging the general public to order judgment till state Lawyer Common Tish James completes an unbiased overview.

Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP New York Convention, stated Sunday that “calls for the resignation of the Governor are untimely and undermine the obligation and accountability of Lawyer Common Tish James to conduct the unbiased investigation that so many people have known as for.”

Cuomo beforehand held an occasion closed to press after touring a mass vaccination web site at York School in Queens on Feb. 24 — shortly earlier than Boylan, who’s working for Manhattan borough president, detailed her allegations towards the governor in a Medium post. Boylan claimed Cuomo requested her to play strip poker whereas on a piece strip and as soon as kissed her on the lips in a state workplace.

Former aide Charlotte Bennett got here ahead a number of days later, alleging in a collection of media interviews that the governor propositioned her for intercourse, saying one encounter with the governor left “deeply uncomfortable.” A number of others have come ahead during the last week to accuse the governor of inappropriate office habits or making undesirable advances towards them.

The governor stated final week that his “ordinary customized is to kiss and to hug and make that gesture,” and apologized to anybody damage by his actions.

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“I perceive that sensitivities have modified and habits has modified, and I get it. And I’m going to study from it,” he stated.

Nick Niedzwiadek contributed to this report.

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