A tale of hubris and comeuppance is unfolding daily around New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. It’s a tale of a man who bullied colleagues for years and took time out of managing the pandemic to write a book about how well he was managing the pandemic, but is now facing accusations of harassment, incompetence, and fatal mistakes.
Thousands more people in New York nursing homes died of COVID-19 last spring than was made public at the time, and over the past two weeks, Cuomo’s administration has slowly admitted to hiding the numbers. Two former aides have also stepped forward to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment, in addition to a third woman who has said he touched her back inappropriately and attempted to give her a kiss that she did not want.
But, barring a burst of new allegations, Cuomo absolutely will not resign. “The old resignation playbook is out,” a Cuomo adviser told me, requesting anonymity to discuss the private deliberations that have been going on over the past week. Very much on the minds of Cuomo and his team is Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who refused to resign in 2019 after the discovery of an old racist yearbook page, but who today remains popular with voters. “There’s a new path, and that is to wait it out,” is how the adviser put it to me. Even several of the small number of New York politicians and advocates who have openly called for Cuomo to leave office seem to doubt that he will. But the pressure could scare him out of running for what he wants most: a fourth term, which he is up for next year. And with how Cuomo’s private conversations have been going lately, the anti-Cuomo forces may be getting their way.