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De Blasio Says Cuomo ‘Can’t Govern’ If Sexual Harassment Allegations Are True

The mayor cited the governor's nursing home deaths scandal as well.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 05: Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio speaks at the opening of the Bank of America 'Winter Village' at Bryant Park on November 05, 2020 in New York City. The pandemic has caused long-term repercussions throughout the tourism and entertainment industries, including short-term and permanent closures of historic and iconic venues, and costing the city and businesses billions in revenue.
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “can’t govern” if the sexual harassment allegations against him are true, the New York City mayor all but calling for Cuomo’s resignation in the wake of allegations against him from at least three women.

“These are very serious allegations against the governor, both in terms of the nursing home scandal and in terms of sexual harassment,” de Blasio said Tuesday at his daily press briefing.

“If these allegations are true, he cannot govern. He would not be able to govern. It’s as simple as that,” the mayor said. “You have to have trust from the people, and if you can’t maintain that trust you can’t govern.”

De Blasio also insisted that he himself would never be caught in a sexual harassment scandal.

“Not only would I never allow it, tolerate it, conceive of it in my life or on my staff, I can’t think of any decent human being who would do a thing like that,” the mayor said.

De Blasio’s remarks were a doubling down on comments he made a day earlier during a CNN appearance that the nursing home scandal coupled with the sexual harassment allegations, if true, were “disqualifying realities” for Cuomo’s governorship.

“If someone purposely tried to use their power to force a woman to have sex with them, of course that’s someone who should no longer be in public service,” de Blasio said Monday at his daily briefing.

De Blasio has also called for two separate investigations into Cuomo corresponding to the two scandals as well as for Cuomo’s emergency powers, granted to him last year when the pandemic began, to be immediately rescinded, saying they “overrule local control.”

On Monday, Governor Cuomo was accused by a third woman of sexual harassment. Anna Ruch said that she met the governor at a wedding in 2019, where he called her “aggressive” for removing his hand from her lower back and took her face in his hands and asked if he could kiss her, a moment caught on camera. Last week, a former high-level Cuomo aide accused him of forcibly kissing her on the lips in his office in 2018 and several days later another former aide in her early 20s said the governor harassed her about her sex life last year and asked whether she slept with older men.

Meanwhile, Cuomo is also weathering his administration’s dismal handling of the coronavirus in nursing homes, where thousands died last year because of the governor’s disastrous policy of forcing nursing homes to accept coronavirus-positive patients after they were discharged from the hospital. Then last month, a Cuomo aide admitted to covering up the actual nursing home death toll in New York in order to hide the data from federal authorities.

De Blasio also faulted the Cuomo administration for failing to expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility to more New Yorkers, saying that the state is not keeping up with the need to update vaccine eligibility requirements to include people like sanitation workers, building and health inspectors, and other essential workers.

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