(Bloomberg) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo defied calls to step down in the wake of sexual assault and harassment claims, even as he was increasingly isolated by members of the state’s congressional delegation who demanded his resignation. He said he “did not do” what has been alleged.
“I’m not going to resign, I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people.”
The governor’s comments came during a regular virus briefing with reporters, in which Cuomo spent 10 minutes talking about state Covid rates, vaccines, and the state budget, a nod to his decision to keep a business-as-usual approach. “I’m going to focus on my job, because we have real challenges. People who say avoid distractions, I’m going to avoid distractions. I have to get a budget done. Get vaccinations done, I have to rebuild the state.”
Pressure has been building on Cuomo after six women accused him of sexual assault or harassment and allegations emerged that his administration covered up Covid nursing home deaths. On Thursday, members of the state Assembly initiating a impeachment investigation into the misconduct claims that could lead to his removal.
On Friday, New York Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jerry Nadler and 11 of the 19 Democratic U.S. House members from New York.
”We believe these women, we believe the reporting, we believe the attorney general, and we believe the 55 members of the New York State legislature, including the State Senate Majority Leader, who have concluded that Governor Cuomo can no longer effectively lead in the face of so many challenges,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a joint statement with fellow progressive Representative Jamaal Bowman.