OP-ED: A Call for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Resignation

Rachel Lief, Staff Reporter, Junior

Throughout the past year, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has played a critical role in New York State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been at the forefront of news outlets which have been publicizing his efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, contributing to his increased presence in the public eye. Amidst his pandemic persona, eight women have come forward with sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo.

In response to the allegations, New York Attorney General, Letitia James has commenced a formal investigation that seeks to ascertain more information. In addition to the sexual assault allegations, the investigation is also analyzing the Cuomo Administration’s misrepresentation of nursing home COVID-19 deaths. Unlike Cuomo’s proposed investigations, Attorney General James’ investigation is aiming to gather concrete evidence in an unbiased manner in which the governor has no involvement.

With the ongoing investigation, individuals have formulated their own opinions regarding the extent to which Cuomo should be held accountable. Several people in power have called for his resignation as governor, since Cuomo’s alleged actions are sustainable evidence that he is unfit to hold public office.

In her statement regarding the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi emphasizes “While a true independent investigation may uncover more evidence or instances of abuse, the existing details are sufficient for me to form my conclusion. As a New Yorker, a legislator, Chair of the Senate Ethics and Internal Governance Committee, and a survivor of sexual abuse, I am calling for Governor Cuomo to resign.”

Despite the verdict that the investigation will turn up, it is imperative for Cuomo to resign from his position as governor, given the vile actions that are detailed in the accounts of the individuals who have come forward. The perpetrator of such contemptuous and invasive actions holds no capacity for any position in office. As governor, Cuomo is obliged to make decisions that equitably benefit his constituents, yet the derision and misogyny that is detailed in the allegations undermine his capability to perform the tasks that the role of governor entails.

Unfortunately, he is one of many individuals in power who are alleged to have committed acts of sexual violence. Consequently, the impunity that exists to defend people with this form of privilege is enormous and permits them to abuse their power. People who are in positions of power are often elevated onto a pedestal that provides them with an aura of perfection and prevents them from being treated as humans who must be held accountable for their actions. This perpetuates the indifference and denigration that the public thrusts at survivors, while refusing to hold abusers accountable, which must change all around.