Tuesday, May 18

All against Cuomo | International

Andrew Cuomo (standing, left) attends a meeting of his father, Mario Cuomo, then governor of New York, in 1978.
Andrew Cuomo (standing, left) attends a meeting of his father, Mario Cuomo, then governor of New York, in 1978.Ozier Muhammad / AP

He presents himself on his Twitter profile as a “father, fisherman and motorcycle enthusiast,” as well as the 56th Governor of New York State. Democrat Andrew M. Cuomo (Queens, New York, age 63) is the son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, and the brother of popular CNN primetime host Chris Cuomo, so he’s more than used to the spotlight. Also to the jokes and interviews of his brother, live, until the scandal of the alleged sexual abuse that has the governor in the pillory stopped the compadreo in his tracks. From the pulpit of his program, the little brother announced this week that for obvious reasons he will stop reporting on his older brother, although CNN continues to do so “exhaustively, as it has been doing until now”, while the investigation that the prosecutor has ordered lasts. New York General Letitia James.

The Cuomo are Italian-American, hot-blooded and devoted to the family. Ugly, Catholic and temperamental. Due to the somewhat quarrelsome attitude of the governor, who not only does not shy away from the controversy, but also seems to pursue it (“when I say ‘experts’ in quotation marks, it is because I do not trust them,” he ignored the epidemiologists of his Administration). Or by the arrogance of the informant, who in 2019, when questioned by a Trump player who called him Fredo – by Fredo Corleone, the weak brother of The Godfather– He responded with a cataract of expletives and the threat of pushing him down the stairs in a video that went viral and after which he received the support of his network. “It is a racist, ethnic insult,” the presenter justified his reaction.

Because the Cuomo are visceral, Latino, excessive. The governor has been extremely so both in its rise, during the first wave of the coronavirus, and in its decline, after learning that his Administration falsified data on deaths from covid in nursing homes for months and being accused of harassment by several women in less than a week. Stardom has lasted for nearly a year, during which time he has received an Emmy Award for his daily televised lectures and written a book titled Leadership Lessons on the pandemic, but the fall has taken him just a month, during which Andrew Cuomo has settled in the eye of the hurricane and, despite the insistence of his critics – his Democratic co-religionists the first – there he continues, without resigning.

The press conference he called on Wednesday “to make an announcement” sounded like resignation, but Cuomo once again shone in the field that has given him the most luster: the management of the pandemic. With a scenic dominance that explains the reason for the Emmy award, the governor recounted all the advances against the virus with a didactic tone, as if he were giving a great exclusive -the gradual reopening of New York from April-, but in reality he was only taking a run to sing, for the second time in three days, a loud mea culpa for the accusations of harassment. “I am very sorry, I am very embarrassed, and I apologize if anyone has misinterpreted my behavior. In my life I have touched anyone in an inappropriate way, ”he reiterated contritely, despite the complaints that argue otherwise made by two of his former collaborators and a third woman with no ties to him, with whom he coincided at a wedding. This Saturday, another former adviser denounced the “inappropriate behavior” of the politician: too personal questions, a kiss to the heart of the hand.

The pattern is repeated: the mature man, with power, who acts as a mentor and incurs in flirtations and then in conduct, they say that he is vexatious on victims up to 30 years younger, three of them linked to him -that is, in a position of subordination- by job. From his attitude it is possible to infer a control over the career and future in politics of his employees (one of the complainants aspires to preside over the district of Manhattan). A poisoned environment that has “in a state of panic” his inner circle, according to officials of the Assembly of Albany, the state capital and seat of its Government.

The victims insist that Cuomo’s apologies are false (“he is a stalker from the manual,” one of them added on Thursday), and they encourage their collaborators to denounce “the climate of intimidation” prevailing in Albany. The existence of a platform called the Working Group on Sexual Harassment, launched by seven former Assembly workers who witnessed or suffered episodes of harassment at the hands of other men, seems to prove it. In those involving Cuomo, an early champion of #MeToo and gay marriage, the mechanisms for handling complaints by human resources failed, laments much of the staff.

In his third consecutive term, many saw in his acclaimed management of the coronavirus the perfect springboard to make the leap into national politics, which he already enjoyed, between 2007 and 2011, as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development with Barack Obama. For months, Cuomo has been a national hero for his handling of data and transparency, the antithesis of Trump’s denial, but on Thursday The New York Times revealed that while he enjoyed popular favor, his advisers tweaked the death toll in residences, cutting it in half (8,000, compared to 15,362 reais), so as not to tarnish his success story.

His own fellow Democrats do not stop pulling dirty laundry from him: the law that in April legally shielded the entrepreneurs of the nursing homes, some of them contributors to his campaign with two million dollars; or its delay in permanently establishing the legislation antifracking of the State. The progressives were already looking for him before the double crisis broke out, because they consider him an example of the establishment more stagnant, and the scandals have given them ammunition. To the legislator sandersista Ron Kim, his main scourge, threatened to destroy him if he questioned his management again. Others are maneuvering to have his emergency powers withdrawn, which have allowed him to govern in an executive manner, and even subject him to a impeachment. The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, or the emerging Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have openly criticized him, not to mention Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, who called the accusations credible. Too many open fronts, and too many powerful enemies, even for a confrontational enthusiast like Andrew M. Cuomo.


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