By Quentin Choy
March 17, 2021
Two Democratic governors are currently facing the political crises of their lives. Governor Gavin Newsom in California faces a recall effort that could trigger an election among California voters as to whether or not he should be removed from office and replaced. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo faces calls from the New York Congressional Delegation, House Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, as well as from President Biden to resign over his lying in reporting COVID deaths as well as numerous allegations of sexual assault that have arisen.
Gavin Newsom was elected governor of California in 2018, and he governs over one of the most reliably blue states in the nation. Newsom faces criticism by California Republicans over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of them seeing his restrictions from going too far. Independent and Democratic voters criticize Newsom for his hypocrisy in breaking his own COVID-19 restrictions, after a photo was released of him attending a dinner at a French restaurant without masks and in a large group.
Efforts to recall Newsom have been tried before, but this latest effort has over 2 million signatures, far exceeding the required 1.5 million. On an appearance on The View talk show, Newsom revealed his concern over his political career saying, “Am I worried about it? Of course I’m worried about it.” In 2003, Californian voters held a gubernatorial recall election, ousting then-governor Gray Davis and electing Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Newsom fears the same sort of political death, and he knows that his political life is most certainly on the line.
Andrew Cuomo has been the Governor of New York since 2011, and he is currently engaged in the political fight of his life. In 2020, Cuomo was fetishized by the media and establishment Democrats over his handling of the coronavirus in New York. He was seen as a “parallel leader” to Donald Trump, showing true leadership and capability in being able to deal with a crisis. Cuomo would often take part in interviews on CNN with his brother, Chris Cuomo who avoided asking his brother any critical questions about his leadership, demonstrating a form of nepotism that would cost human lives.
The first scandal to strike Cuomo was the nursing home scandal in which Cuomo edited higher nursing home death tolls in reports to show a lower number of deaths. Cuomo also allowed COVID-positive patients from nursing homes to return back to the homes among uninfected residents. This policy increased the number of deaths in New York nursing homes, killing numerous senior citizens who had no idea their fellow neighbors were carrying coronavirus. New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Democrat, said that Cuomo threatened to “destroy him” if he made attempts to reveal what actually happened in New York nursing homes and tying Cuomo’s decisions into it.
The second scandal to strike Cuomo were a flood of sexual assault allegation from women who had interacted with him as well as photos surfacing, suggesting inappropriate behavior by the governor. Following these allegations, several prominent New York politicians including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have called on Cuomo to resign if these allegations are found to be true. Even President Biden has called for Cuomo to resign under the same circumstances.
While these sexual assault accusations should be taken seriously and investigated, if Cuomo is to go down, it should be for his intentional malpractice in his handling of the pandemic in New York. Cuomo was never questioned by the media, especially not by his own brother on CNN. Governor Cuomo even released a book titled, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, a tarnishing of the lives lost due to his terrible decisions and subsequent cover-up.
I hope Cuomo resigns and faces legal punishments for the deaths in the nursing homes and cover-up of New York COVID-19 deaths. While I am not a huge fan of Gavin Newsom, I do not think that he deserves to be recalled over his COVID-19 restrictions he implemented in the nation’s most populous state. California Republicans need to understand why these restrictions were implemented in the first place and should consider following them, rather than trying to recall their governor over them. However, Newsom was hypocritical and a bad example in violating his own restrictions.
Only time will tell where the fate of these two governors, who have fallen from grace, will lie.
Image Courtesy of CBS News.