Could Andrew Cuomo’s Career Really be Over?
It’s looking like the nursing home scandal will be difficult for him to escape, and it should be.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the United States, allegations about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s devastating mishandling of the virus and its spread within New York’s nursing homes have been circulating for months. Recently, after a top aide was recorded admitting that the Cuomo administration had lied about the data coming out of nursing homes following his order that they must accept Covid positive residents, the scandal has only continued to grow.
Considering the fact that I work in a nursing home in Northern New York that recently lost 20 residents to the virus over the course of an outbreak that lasted two months, this story felt more personal than arguably any other. The only reason we were able to avoid the virus for as long as we were was because our Director of Nursing had the foresight to fill the facility to capacity before the virus came to our area, but considering how quickly and brutally New York City was hit in the early days of the pandemic, I can’t help wondering how much death and suffering was inflicted upon the most vulnerable people among us, their loved ones, and their caretakers as well as a direct result of Cuomo’s horrific policies.
While my Governor joins a long list of politicians who have dealt with a scandal during their career, I get the sense that he will not be among the lucky ones who are able to plow through and simply move beyond what happened. Given the fact that he is the Democratic governors of New York State, presiding over New York City, Wall Street, and happens to be at the heart of one of the most significant corporate Democratic stronghold in the entire country, for years it’s felt like nothing would be able to touch Cuomo. But as things only continue to get worse for him, there seem to be a number of aspects that set this apart from a scandal that a politician might be able to walk away from relatively unscathed.
For starters, the level of coverage this story has gotten from outlets that would typically be incredibly friendly to Cuomo — CNN and MSNBC in particular — certainly doesn’t bode well for him. Aside from the level of coverage this story has gotten, the mounting calls for investigations coming from not just Republicans, but Democrats isn’t a good sign for the Governor, either. Ron Kim, a fellow Democrat in the New York State assembly who Cuomo happened to threaten to destroy, has used his newfound national attention to demand that Cuomo answer for nursing home deaths. AOC, one of the most high profile Democrats not only in New York but across the country has also called for an investigation.
There’s no question that this story has irreparably damaged Cuomo’s career, but how how deep does that damage go?
New York State does not have gubernatorial term limits. At this point, I would be shocked if anyone would be able to unseat the Governor unless he was impeached. If not impeachment, then it would take a candidate with such a high profile that Cuomo’s efforts to raise $40 million in an attempt to bury them would be unsuccessful. New York State politics aside, it’s been clear almost since the beginning of this pandemic that Cuomo was going to attempt to run for President in the near future. This scandal has ensured it would be much more difficult for Cuomo to make it through the primary.
Cuomo’s Presidential ambitions may be far more difficult for him attain, but unless the money turns against him as well, it’s an unfortunate reality that his hold on New York State will likely remain firm for the foreseeable future. It’s a disgusting testament to the nature of Democratic politics in New York that Cuomo’s atrocities likely won’t be enough for the party elite to abandon him altogether. If 15,000 dead elderly Americans isn’t enough, then what will be?