The two top Democrats in New York’s legislature withdrew their support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday amid mounting allegations of workplace misconduct and undercounting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins became the first senior Democrat in the state to say the three-term governor should resign.
“Every day there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. “New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it. We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.”
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie stopped short of demanding that Cuomo quit, but said in a statement that “it is time for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York.”
The statements came shortly after a Sunday press conference where Cuomo said it would be “anti-democratic” for him to step down.
“They don’t override the people’s will, they don’t get to override elections,” Cuomo said during a conference call with reporters when asked about members of his own party calling for him to step down. “I was elected by the people of New York state. I wasn’t elected by politicians.”
Cuomo said the next six months will determine how successfully New York emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. “I’m not going to be distracted because there is too much to do for the people,” he said, noting that the state must pass a budget within three weeks and administer 15 million more COVID-19 vaccines.
Updated Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 4:10 pm .