The sky is falling for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Democrats within the state are now turning on him due to his responsibility for the deaths of thousands of elderly New Yorkers due to his COVID-19 nursing home policies and, what’s more, his attempting to hide the fallout of his decisions from New Yorkers by hiding the actual totals.
Ever the opportunist, Cuomo’s arch-rival, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, is now also joining in on the dogpile currently forming against Cuomo.
After Cuomo threatened Assemblyman Ron Kim with the destruction of his career for pursuing an investigation against Cuomo, de Blasio made it clear that this was typical behavior from the governor according to the Washington Examiner:
Ron Kim, the assemblyman, told CNN that he received a phone call from Cuomo as his team sought to keep under wraps the full extent of COVID-19 deaths linked to nursing homes, a burgeoning controversy for the Democratic governor. On Thursday morning, de Blasio weighed in.
“That’s classic Andrew Cuomo,” the mayor said. “A lot of people in New York state have received those phone calls. You know, the bullying is nothing new. I believe Ron Kim, and it’s very, very sad, no public servant, no person who is telling the truth should be treated that way. But yeah, the threats, the belittling, the demand that someone change their statement right that moment, many, many times I’ve heard that, and I know a lot of other people in the state have heard that.”
He said he believes Kim’s version of events “100%,” adding, “I know him. He’s a good public servant. I’ve always seen him as a person of integrity. It’s just the script is exactly what a lot of us have heard before. It’s not a surprise. It’s sad. It’s not the way people should be treated. You know, a lot of people get intimidated by that. I give him credit for not being intimidated.”
Cuomo senior adviser Rich Azzopardi claims that he was on the phone call with Kim and that no such threat occurred, yet de Blasio believes in Kim’s story.
The feud between Cuomo and de Blasio is well known. According to The Nation, the two have been at odds since day one of de Blasio’s reign as New York City’s Mayor in 2013:
Cuomo, on his part, has been a tireless antagonist, a chief driver of almost every clash. De Blasio won office in 2013 on a promise to tax the rich to fund his universal pre-kindergarten initiative. The next year, Cuomo refused to levy a tax, promising instead the state would offer funding. De Blasio, in his first year and attempting to honor a pledge that was the centerpiece of a winning campaign, pushed onward for a tax, insisting dedicated revenue was necessary. De Blasio’s efforts so offended Cuomo that the two could never have a functional working relationship again. Even de Blasio’s aggressive support for Cuomo’s 2014 reelection bid against progressive Zephyr Teachout—it was de Blasio who almost single-handedly engineered Cuomo’s Working Families Party endorsement—meant little. Cuomo would not forgive another Democrat for trying to tell him what to do.
Regardless of the rivalry being so old, that’s one more Democrat against Cuomo. Any help the governor may have is drying up fast and it would seem the political winds are turning against him rapidly. If the story about Kim is true, it means that Cuomo is panicking at this point and we’re seeing the beginning of the end of the Cuomo era.