Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned Tuesday during a televised press briefing. The New York governor’s resignation comes after an onslaught of controversy including a barrage of sexual harassment allegations that have marred his reputation. He explained that the resignation would take effect in 14 days and that Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul would take his place. Many pundits believe that the governor had no choice in the face of mounting evidence. It is widely believed by Cuomo’s allies and enemies that the son of a storied political family was opposed to resigning until the eleventh hour.
“This is about politics, and our political system today is too often driven by extremes,” Cuomo said to the public during his announcement. But he admitted that “given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let the government get back to the government.” He said that the current trajectory of the situation will create months of controversy which would freeze the government and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
Cuomo said that to prevent these kinds of issues he will resign “because I work for you, and doing the right thing, is doing the right thing for you.” He continued, saying that “it is a matter of life and death.”
The governor’s fall from grace is especially poignant after the Covid-19 pandemic. At the beginning of 2020, Cuomo was celebrated for his daily press conferences and decisive action in quelling the spread of the virus. For many, Cuomo made the perfect candidate for President or even Vice-President, with many hoping he would run a larger office after his third term. Then, the New York governor suffered a detrimental scandal. His administration was accused of fudging nursing home deaths, which he vehemently denies.
“Government operations and wasting energy on distraction is the last thing government should be,” he added of his current predicament. “I cannot be the cause. New York tough means New York loving. And I love New York and I love you. Everything I have ever done has been motivated by that love and I would never want to be unhelpful in any way.”
Governor Cuomo paused, directing his next statement at his daughters. He said, “I want them to know from the bottom of my heart that I never did and I never would intentionally disrespect a woman, treat any woman differently than I would want them treated, and that is the God’s honest truth.” He added that “your dad made mistakes. And he apologized, and he learned from it and that’s what life is all about.”
The resignation comes one week after a revelatory 165-page report that found Andrew Cuomo and his aides retaliated against one of the 11 women who accused the New York governor of sexual harassment. The disgraced governor had stayed silent for a week after the report, neglecting the embarrassment he faced. The scandal grew out of control, however, and now Cuomo is taking action to duck and cover.
Critics of the humiliated governor have been extremely vocal about his resignation, many of whom pressured the politician to step down. In recent weeks, New York residents began to echo those sentiments, calling on their leader to resign office. A study from Quinnipiac University found that seven out of 10 New York State voters believe Andrew Cuomo should resign and 55 percent think he should be charged with a crime.
Even Joe Biden urged Cuomo to resign. During a press conference last week, the President said that “I think he should resign” but wasn’t sure if the politician would make the formal announcement.
Cuomo’s resignation also comes during growing calls for the state government to impeach the governor after the sexual harassment allegations intensified. Much of this political aftermath is the product of the devastating 165-page report filed last Tuesday, which provided overwhelming evidence against the disgraced governor.
His resignation casts a shadow on his father’s political legacy. Cuomo’s father, Governor Mario M. Cuomo, was a three-term governor and was a beloved political figure. Under his leadership, progressive legislation carried New York into a golden age. He improved roads, revitalized education, and drastically enhanced the state’s infrastructure.
The governor’s brother is also facing stark consequences for Cuomo’s actions. The CNN anchor faced backlash throughout the sexual harassment allegations and continues to be criticized for standing by the New York governor. The journalist advised his brother about how to handle the scandal, but many critics felt that Chris should have remained more objective.
Do you think it was time for Gov. Cuomo to resign? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!