Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a news conference on March 3, 2021, in Albany, N.Y.

The Associated Press

It was just a while ago that Andrew Cuomo, the three-term governor of New York, was a COVID-19-conquering hero.

He was America’s governor. He was the anti-Trump. His press-conference performances won him an Emmy award. The progressive media loved him.

He thought rather highly of himself too. With the pandemic still raging in the fall, Mr. Cuomo put out a self-aggrandizing, score-settling book, American Crisis, on his handling of it.

Story continues below advertisement

The tome typified his triumphalism. But Mr. Cuomo is hardly triumphant now. His glory days are suddenly gone. Up in smoke. He’s America’s governor, as one critic put it, just as Rudy Giuliani was America’s mayor.

In the space of a month he’s been rocked by a pair of scandals, one involving covering up the true death toll of coronavirus in nursing homes, the other alleging sexual harassment of three women.

The knives are out. Calls for his resignation are mounting. His style of stewardship, that of an overbearing pater familias, won Mr. Cuomo few friends in Albany, the state capital. He appears to have become a victim of his hubris. Hence, a flame-out worthy of Icarus.

The Democratic Party is embarrassed, journalists who kissed his wingtips the same, and Republicans of course are lapping it up. They had it thrown in their faces for months how New York was leading the way in fighting COVID-19 in comparison to Republican-run states such as Florida. But at last look, New York has the second-highest per-capita death rate from the coronavirus, while the Sunshine State is way down at 26th.

Mr. Cuomo is the subject of simultaneous investigations: a federal one into the nursing-home deaths and an independent inquiry into the sexual-harassment allegations. If he doesn’t resign, he could face the type of reckoning he so enjoyed watching Donald Trump come up against: impeachment proceedings.

He has accepted some responsibility for the nursing-home fiasco and he apologized Wednesday to his accusers on the harassment charges, while denying he touched anyone inappropriately.

His sleazy behaviour is particularly galling given that it came during the #MeToo era when many celebrities were disgraced for their behaviour. Colleagues wonder what he could have been thinking. He was well aware of the sensitivities, having returned political donations in 2017 from Harvey Weinstein, who was then under investigation for sexual assault.

Story continues below advertisement

Democrats had hoped they had put the punitive sexual-harassment issue behind them. It had taken down Minnesota senator Al Franken and long-time Michigan congressman John Conyers. During the primaries, Joe Biden was accused of sexual assault by Tara Reade and other women complained of unwelcome touching. Now the issue, which also prompted the impeachment of president Bill Clinton, is front and centre as Democrats face questions on the type of disciplinary action Mr. Cuomo should receive.

Given his intimidating, control-freak style, many are not surprised that Mr. Cuomo, who served as an enforcer under his father, Mario Cuomo, when he was governor, overstepped the bounds. In 2013, the younger Mr. Cuomo established a commission to investigate corruption in state politics. Its functioning was hindered by his office as the investigation was getting too close to home. It was subsequently shut down.

Accusations of a cover-up on the nursing-home controversy will be hard to dodge. The Cuomo administration sent hospitalized nursing-home residents with the virus back to the homes. Although more than 15,000 died at the homes, to start 2021 the state was only reporting about 8,500 fatalities.

To avoid blame, the suspicion is that Mr. Cuomo kept the numbers hidden. His top aide, Melissa DeRosa, has admitted withholding the data from lawmakers, saying the government was worried that putting the news out would have prompted the Trump administration to begin a federal investigation.

Attempting to downplay the whole thing, Mr. Cuomo heartlessly said at one point that it didn’t matter whether people passed away in a nursing home or in a hospital. “But who cares?” he said. “… Died in a hospital. Died in a nursing home. They died.”

He bullied and threatened critics in his party who had the integrity to question what was going on. Assemblyman Ron Kim, for one, said he received a call from an enraged Mr. Cuomo threatening to “destroy” him if he didn’t shut up.

Story continues below advertisement

It’s the type of approach, imperious and ego-drenched, that appears – pride goeth before the fall – to be destroying Mr. Cuomo himself.

Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies