New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at a vaccination site in the Brooklyn borough of New York, US.(REUTERS)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at a vaccination site in the Brooklyn borough of New York, US.(REUTERS)

Scandal-hit Cuomo may see emergency powers taken away

  • The governor hasn’t taken questions from reporters since a February 19 briefing, an unusually long gap for a Democrat whose daily, televised updates on the coronavirus pandemic were must-see TV last spring.
AP | , Albany
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:46 AM IST

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has avoided public appearances for days as some members of his own party call for him to resign over sexual harassment allegations.

The governor hasn’t taken questions from reporters since a February 19 briefing, an unusually long gap for a Democrat whose daily, televised updates on the coronavirus pandemic were must-see TV last spring.

He was last before video cameras on Thursday, when he introduced President Joe Biden at a virtual meeting of the National Governor’s Association, which he chairs. He also participated on Tuesday in the group’s conference call, which was off-limits to reporters.

The public absence was more glaring after legislative leaders announced on Tuesday that they were limiting the governor’s broad powers to set state policy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The governor is also facing criticism for withholding, for months, a full account of the number of nursing home residents who died from Covid-19.

Under the bill, Cuomo would still have the power to keep alive his existing Covid-19 rules or tweak them. But he’ll no longer be allowed to make decisions without any input from the legislature. He’ll have to notify legislative committees and local governments.

Neither Cuomo nor his spokespeople have commented on the latest allegation made against him on Monday night. A woman told The New York Times that Cuomo touched her inappropriately and misbehaved with her at a September 2019 wedding event.

Most leading Democrats have signalled they want to wait for the results of an investigation by New York attorney general Letitia James into claims that Cuomo sexually harassed at least two women in his administration. State Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs said it’s “premature” to opine before the investigation concludes. Several members of the National Governors Association said they support the investigation.

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