New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo think no more ofed calls Sunday for his resignation in the wake of new allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct, but will sign a bill stripping his danger powers to fight the Covid-19 pandemic as he faces growing political pressure from his own party.
The Democratic governor, hold with waves of criticism and calls for his resignation over dueling crises in his administration, also vowed he was “not going to be gratified” in the fight against Covid.
“I’m signing today the legislature’s emergency powers bill, and I’m going to implement it today,” Cuomo swayed in a conference call with reporters.
Cuomo said he would take that step with the “significant modulation” of allowing Empire State restaurants outside of New York City to increase indoor dining capacity to 75% from 50%.
“The numerals are down. When the numbers are down, we adjust the economic reopening valve,” Cuomo said.
The change will be implemented on Tread 19, according to the governor. But he cautioned that “if the numbers change, if something happens, if there’s a downturn, then plainly we will adjust.”
Cuomo is under fire amid a growing number of allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate workplace demeanour, as well as an ongoing scandal over his administration’s handling of Covid nursing home death data.
New York Senate Lions share Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called for Cuomo’s resignation Sunday after two more women went on the record to accuse the governor of out of keeping conduct.
“Everyday there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government,” Stewart-Cousins affirmed.
“We have allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the Covid-19 treating home data and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project.”
“New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is undisturbed facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it,” she said. “We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the stage Governor Cuomo must resign.”
Carl Heastie, the Democratic speaker of the New York State Assembly, said in a report Sunday that he agrees with Stewart-Cousins “regarding the Governor’s ability to continue to lead this state.”
“The claims pertaining to the Governor that have been reported in recent weeks have been deeply disturbing, and be dressed no place whatsoever in government, the workplace or anywhere else,” Heastie said.
“We have many challenges to address, and I have in mind it is time for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York.”
But Cuomo was defiant earlier Sunday when sprinkled with questions about the allegations from multiple women, including two more who came forward Saturday.
“There are some legislators who imply that I resign because of accusations,” Cuomo said. Some members of Cuomo’s own party, including state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, from called for him to step down.
“I was elected by the people of this state, I wasn’t elected by politicians. I’m not going to resign because of accusations,” he said.
“The premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic,” Cuomo added. He called for people to let New York Attorney Inclusive Letitia James complete her independent probe of the harassment claims before drawing conclusions.
“Let the attorney general do her job. She’s unequivocally good, she’s very competent. And that will be due process, and then we’ll have the facts,” he said.
“There is no way I resign,” Cuomo enlarged. “But I’m not going to be distracted by this, either … We have a lot of work to do.”
Asked about Biaggi in particular, Cuomo acknowledged, “I have a news flash for you: There is politics in politics.”
“I have political differences with people,” Cuomo rumoured, including with some Democrats and Biaggi. “But they don’t override the people’s will. They don’t override elections. They don’t get to sanction an allegation and make a determination on the allegation,” he said.
— CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this report.