The hits keep on coming for former NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo, yet for some reason, the man continues to put out campaign rhetoric, despite the fact he hasn’t even announced plans to run for office.
His new pseudo-campaign advertisement certainly raised a few eyebrows, considering his reluctant resignation from office last August amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment by former aides. In his commercial, Cuomo appears apologetic, admitting “I haven’t been perfect. I’ve made mistakes. But I also made a difference.”
Cuomo says that he believes “cancel culture” and “political attacks” contributed to his early departure from office, claiming that reports conducted by Attorney General Letitia James are full of “omissions and inaccuracies.”
In addition to the sexual harassment scandal, he has been heavily criticized for his misuse of government resources to write a $5 million memoir and deliberately altering the number of COVID-related deaths in nursing homes to inflate the perception of New York’s performance. (Not to mention the accusations against his brother, former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo).
Earlier this week State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released the findings of an internal audit, uncovering that a persistent lack of funding over the last decade forced the NYS Department of Health to operate without critical information systems and staff that could’ve helped identify and limit the spread of COVID-19 within nursing homes.
The audit uncovered that the health department understated the number of nursing home deaths by at least 4,100 people and that Cuomo used his executive authority to control infromation provided to the public.
“The pandemic was devastating and deadly for New Yorkers living in nursing homes. Families have a right to know if their loved one’s COVID-19 death was counted, but many still don’t have answers from the state Department of Health,” DiNapoli stated. “Our audit findings are extremely troubling. The public was misled by those at the highest level of state government through distortion and suppression of the facts when New Yorkers deserved the truth. The pandemic is not over, and I am hopeful the current administration will make changes to improve accountability and protect lives. An important step would be for DOH to provide the families who lost loved ones with answers as to the actual number of nursing homes residents who died. These families are still grieving, and they deserve no less.”
The fact the numbers were so easily suppressed speaks volumes about the level of corruption that exists in Albany.
Nevertheless, new polling data provided from The Hill and Emerson College, show that despite everything, were he to attempt to make a bid for his former office, he could potentially have a chance at beating his successor, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The poll revealed that 37 percent of Democratic primary voters would support Hochul with Cuomo pulling in close behind at 33 percent. Meanwhile, current contenders U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams polled in seven and four percent of voters respectively.
The poll also revealed that 59 percent of voters polled trusted the findings of AG Letitia James.
Cuomo’s recent “God isn’t finished with me yet” performance at a Brooklyn church furthered the rumors of his potential run for re-election, much to the chagrin of several other Democrats, who are hoping he won’t run again.
Jay Jacobs, the chair of the NY Democratic party, told CNBC that he thinks running for office would be a “bad mistake” for Cuomo, who claims that he is open to the idea of creating his own political party in order to try and reclaim his seat, instead of attempting to secure the Democratic nomination.
But Jacobs isn’t the only one opposed to having Cuomo run for office.
NYS Assemblyman Ron Kim, chair of the aging committee, slammed the former Governor and his administration, stating that the findings of DiNapoli’s audit “verified public fraud at the highest level of state government.”
“Cuomo suppressed and covered up life-and-death data while pursuing a multi-million dollar book deal,” Kim states. “His actions were never about protecting our most vulnerable, they were about pure egotism and self-enrichment at the cost of others’ lives.”
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, another of the Democratic candidates in the race for Governor, also commented on Cuomo’s continued attempts to discredit the findings of the state AG, calling his “cancel culture” remarks a sign of his “unbridled hubris and insistence to deny responsibility, dodge accountability and gaslight the masses.”
Despite the opinions of elected officials within his own party, based on the polls, there are certainly a number of New Yorkers standing in Cuomo’s corner regardless of the harassment scandal, book deal, and nursing home audit. However, it still remains unclear if he intends to run in the upcoming election.