Cuomo Says Critics ‘Don’t Understand the Nature of the Job’

Andrew Cuomo said those claiming he can no longer effectively serve as New York’s governor “don’t understand the nature of the job.”

“I say it’s clearly not true,” Cuomo said Wednesday during a virus briefing. “Because the reality is the exact opposite.”

Cuomo’s comments came toward the end of a more than hour-long presentation, where the embattled governor spoke about new vaccination centers, increased distribution, post-Covid rebuilding and budget negotiations.

“The nature of being governor is that there are always multiple situations to deal with,” he said.

Cuomo, 63, is facing calls to resign amid investigations into sexual-harassment allegations and his handling of Covid-19 deaths of nursing-home residents. The governor, a third-term Democrat, has denied any inappropriate behavior and has apologized if he made anyone uncomfortable.

The New York Assembly began an impeachment investigation on Tuesday that could take months. The investigation by the Assembly Judiciary Committee is the first step should lawmakers pursue impeachment proceedings.

Cuomo has refused to step down, urging the public and lawmakers to wait until investigations are complete. The impeachment probe is expected to include claims the Cuomo administration withheld information on Covid-19 nursing-home deaths from the public and lawmakers amid a request from the U.S. Justice Department.

Data Sought

The governor’s office is continuing to review with legal counsel as to whether to release the information they sent to the Justice Department, Beth Garvey, Cuomo’s acting counsel, said at Wednesday’s briefing.

Cuomo faces an April 1 deadline to negotiate a budget with the legislature. Executive priorities including legalizing marijuana, public-safety and nursing-home reforms, rebuilding New York and providing rent relief. Cuomo said he is close to an agreement on cannabis.

Cuomo said he is “obsessed” with meeting the deadline, as he has done every year since taking office in 2011. The Covid-19 positive test of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, announced Tuesday, has complicated the budget process, Cuomo said.

“That will then trigger quarantine measures for staff that he worked with, and it is going to complicate the budget process,” he said. Heastie, though, rejected that premise.

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