Towards the end of February, it was publicly revealed that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top aides altered the statistics of the true number of people that had passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to NBC New York, “The aides, including the secretary to the governor, Melissa DeRosa, pushed state health officials to edit the July report so only residents who died inside long-term care facilities, and not those who became ill there and later died at a hospital, were counted, the newspapers reported, citing documents and people with knowledge of the administration’s internal discussions.”
When accused, Cuomo’s team replied that “they separated nursing home deaths from nursing home residents who died at hospitals because of concerns about double counting, but [insisted] the total number of deaths was always accurate,” says CBS New York. Later, it was revealed that in the documents that were recorded, it was written that 6,432 people died in the nursing homes; however in reality, newer research has demonstrated that there have been more than 9,200 deaths.
Additionally, multiple women also stepped forward with sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo. Former staff member Lindsey Boylan states that Cuomo said in 2017, “Let’s play strip poker,” and in 2018, kissed her on the lips at his office. It is now publicized that not only did Cuomo initially deny these claims, his team also attempted to tarnish Boylan’s reputation and the credibility of her case. According to the New York Magazine, “Close allies of the governor reportedly began circulating a letter that would deny her claims and attempt to damage her credibility…Cuomo’s team intended to have female former aides sign the letter denying that his office was a site of frequent harassment, and to attack Boylan’s credibility in the midst of her run for Manhattan borough president…According to one source familiar with the process, Cuomo was involved in creating the letter, which was never released. [Documents suggest] that top Cuomo staffers were attempting to tarnish the reputation of the first accuser as a way to potentially halt other women from publicly stating allegations of sexual harassment.”
Following Boylan’s allegations, more women, such as former aides Charlotte Bennett and Anna Ruch, stepped forward with their own sexual harassment claims. As increasingly more victims come forward, the public has begun to push for his resignation, and since then, Cuomo has publicly apologized for making “people feel uncomfortable”, but continues to insist that he has “never touched anyone inappropriately” and refuses to step down.
As more sexual harassment allegations come to light, it is undoubtedly crucial to recognize the challenges that numerous individuals face at their workplaces (or at other locations too, for that matter), and to understand what we must do if we witness or experience sexual harassment. This article that has been linked covers several different aspects of sexual harassment, in hopes of informing others regarding such subject matters.
Picture Credits: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Source by diana_robinson.