New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appeared for a Zoom press conference today, his first since allegations that he sexually harassed multiple women surfaced. In the press conference, Cuomo apologized profusely to the women who he admits he made feel uncomfortable, and begged New Yorkers not to form an opinion until they receive more information. Only one journalist referenced the nursing home scandal, in which Cuomo covered up the number of elderly who died in New York nursing homes as a result of his COVID-19 policies, and Cuomo did not answer a single question on the subject.
“As you probably know, the Attorney General is doing an independent review, and I will cooperate with that review. The lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until the review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer too,” said Cuomo. “First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward, and I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel unco,fortable. It was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and frankly I am embarrassed by it. And that’s not easy to say, but that’s the truth.”
While Cuomo acknowledged he made women feel uncomfortable, he also claims “I never touched anyone inappropriately. I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable.”
Cuomo only took 7 questions from the media. These were exclusively about the scandal surrounding the sexual harassment allegations levied against the governor. One journalist acknowledged that there is a second investigation into Cuomo’s performance, but did not mention the nursing home scandal by name. No member of the media asked Cuomo whether he killed an untold number of elderly with his COVID-19 policy of sending those sick with the Chinese virus into nursing homes filled with the most vulnerable population.
“I wonder if given the distractions, these two investigations, especially the one involving sexual harassment,” began Marcia Kramer of WCBS, before noting that she was mostly interested in whether he would step aside and let other Democrats determine the state’s next budget in light of the sexual harassment investigation.
Cuomo declined to step aside. In response to another journalist, who asked if his statements today indicated he would not resign, Cuomo simply replied, “Yeah.”
One reporter asked Cuomo who his profuse apologies were directed to: the women he made feel uncomfortable, or the people of New York. Cuomo initially claimed he was apologizing to the women, and then delivered a stammering response.
Regarding the women he made feel uncomfortable, Cuomo said, “I was apologizing to the, uh, young women who worked here, who said that I made them feel uncomfortable, and, umm, in the workplace.”
Regarding the people of New York, Cuomom said, “Oh, to New Yorkers, I’m saying that, um, I’m embarrassed by what happened.” He added, “My, I wear a pin, that says pride, integrity, performance. That’s what it says on the pin, you can read it, pride integrity performance, so I’m embarrassed that someone felt that way in my administration, I’m embarrassed and hurt and apologize.”
Cuomo also suggested all suggestions that he should resign or at least step aside to let the New York government, dominated by Democrats, move on from his scandal-plagued administration are simply “politics.”