Timeline: How Andrew Cuomo went from America’s ‘love gov’ to fending off calls for his resignation in less than 12 months
Andrew Kerr, DCNF
For much of 2020, Andrew Cuomo was lauded as America’s favorite politician, praised for steering New York through the COVID-19 pandemic and dubbed the “Love Gov” for his seemingly universal appeal by a CNN host who happened to be his brother.
Now, the Democratic governor of New York faces federal investigations, a potential impeachment and bipartisan calls for his resignation due to his coverup of nursing home deaths and sexual misconduct accusations from at least six women.
Here’s how it all came crashing down for Andrew Cuomo:
March 1, 2020
Cuomo announced that a woman returning home after traveling abroad from Iran contracted COVID-19, becoming the first known case in the state.
“There is no cause for surprise — this was expected,” Cuomo said in a statement. “There is no reason for undue anxiety — the general risk remains low in New York.”
March 2, 2020
Appearing alongside New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Cuomo stressed that the situation was under control and that most people should not be worried about COVID-19.
The press conference was Cuomo’s first of 111 daily COVID-19 briefings. Cuomo’s daily press briefings received blanket media coverage as his reassuring tone, smooth delivery and stated commitment to the facts stood in marked contrast to President Donald Trump’s perceived handling of the pandemic.
Cuomo’s performance would earn him an Emmy award for his “masterful use of television” and, for a brief period of time, made him one the most popular politicians in America.
March 11, 2020
Andrew Cuomo appears on his brother Chris Cuomo’s CNN show to discuss the pandemic.
Chris Cuomo said he’s proud of his brother and thanked him for “explaining the hard parts.”
“Proud of you,” Andrew Cuomo responded.
March 16, 2020
Andrew Cuomo made his second appearance on his brother’s CNN show to discuss the pandemic.
The Cuomo brothers engaged in a playful on-air argument over who is loved more by their mother.
March 22, 2020
Cuomo’s executive order shutting down all non-essential businesses in New York went into effect.
New York was reporting 15,168 confirmed and probable COVID cases when Cuomo’s shutdown order went into effect, just shy of 40% of all known and probable COVID cases in the country at the time, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
March 23, 2020
Andrew Cuomo made his third appearance on his brother’s CNN show to discuss the pandemic.
Chris Cuomo told his brother to cut his fingernails and call their mother. Chris Cuomo told Andrew Cuomo he has “tried to be like you my whole life,” and adds that he’s “doing a great job.”
March 25, 2020
The New York State Department of Health issued a one-page order prohibiting nursing homes from admitting patients “solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”
The order also prohibited nursing homes from testing previously-hospitalized patients for COVID-19 prior to their intake.
New York nursing homes took in over 9,000 COVID-positive patients due to the order, the Associated Press reported in February 2021.
Cuomo would later defend the order, saying it was in line with guidance at the time from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a claim rated mostly false by PolitiFact in June.
The CDC did issue guidance in March saying nursing homes could accept patients recovering from COVID but only if they were able to properly care for those patients. The Cuomo administration’s March 25 order did not provide any such exemptions.
March 30, 2020
Andrew Cuomo made his fourth appearance on his brother’s CNN show to discuss the pandemic.
Chris Cuomo asks his brother in six different ways if he’s thinking about running for president following “all of this adulation that you’re getting for doing your job.”
Andrew Cuomo answers “no” each time.
April 3, 2020
Cuomo signs New York’s budget bill for Fiscal Year 2021. Included in the bill is a provision that granted legal immunity to New York nursing home operators from any civil or criminal matters related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim told The Guardian that “the language of the [immunity] bill and the entire proposal was drafted, submitted, and negotiated into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo and his staff.”
April 8, 2020
Andrew Cuomo made his fifth appearance on his brother’s CNN show to discuss the pandemic.
Chris Cuomo shared an old family photo on the air that, according to CNN, “embarrasses” Andrew Cuomo.
Chris Cuomo called his brother the “Love Gov.”
Andrew Cuomo responded: “I am the Love Gov. I’m a cool dude in loose mood, you know that. I just say, let it go, just go with the flow, baby, you know. You can’t control anything, so don’t even try.”
April 15, 2020
Andrew Cuomo made his sixth appearance on his brother’s CNN show to discuss the pandemic.
Chris Cuomo playfully mocked his brother’s nose, calling it “that huge double-barreled shotgun mounted in the middle of your face.”
Andrew Cuomo responded: “I’m not going to rise to the bait. I love you. I love you.”
April 18, 2020
The Cuomo administration reported that 3,425 residents of New York state nursing homes and adult care facilities had died from COVID-19.
Cuomo’s special counsel Beth Garvey issued a statement on March 5, 2021, that falsely claimed that at the start of the pandemic New York only counted nursing home residents who tested positive for COVID-19 and died at their nursing home facility.
New York State Department of Health spokeswoman Jill Montag told the DCNF on May 15, 2020, that up until around April 28, its reporting on nursing home COVID-19 deaths “contained lab-confirmed and, in some cases, presumed COVID-19 deaths” of residents who died at either their facility or at a hospital.
April 22, 2020
Andrew Cuomo said nursing homes are not safe.
“We’ve tried everything to keep it out of a nursing home, but it’s virtually impossible,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “Now is not the best time to put your mother in a nursing home.”
April 22, 2020
Andrew Cuomo made his seventh appearance on his brother’s CNN show to discuss the pandemic.
Chris Cuomo said “they” call his brother “Dr. Sensitivo.”
“That’s me, don’t forget it,” Andrew Cuomo responded.
Chris Cuomo did not ask his brother any questions about nursing homes.
April 27, 2020
A Siena College poll found that 71 percent of New York voters approved of Cuomo’s job performance, a record high.
The poll also found Cuomo is viewed favorably by “90 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans.”
May 1, 2020
CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza said Cuomo “may be the single most popular politician in America right now.”
May 5, 2020
Andrew Cuomo made his eighth appearance on his brother’s CNN show to discuss the pandemic.
“Some say I shouldn’t come on this show because you harass me,” Andrew Cuomo told his brother.
Chris Cuomo responded: “Too much fierce accountability? Can’t take it? Want a pat on the back, Love Gov?”
Chris Cuomo also asked his brother if he thinks he is “an attractive person now because you’re single and ready to mingle?
Andrew Cuomo responded: “I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
May 10, 2020
Amid mounting criticism over the death toll in New York nursing homes, the Cuomo administration modified its March 25 order to state that hospitals can send COVID-positive patients to nursing homes only if they test negative for the virus.
May 13, 2020
Andrew Cuomo made his ninth appearance on his brother’s CNN show to discuss the pandemic.
Chris Cuomo praised his brother for being humble.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo, you are dealing with very important things. I know that you don’t take yourself seriously, but you take the job very seriously. That’s what this situation demands,” Chris Cuomo said.
May 15, 2020
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that Cuomo’s administration began knowingly undercounting nursing home deaths in early May.
Beginning around May 3, Cuomo’s administration ceased reporting nursing home residents who died of COVID-19 at a hospital. The reporting change caused nearly 500 deaths to disappear from the Cuomo administration’s reporting from April 28 to May 13.
May 20, 2020
Andrew Cuomo made his 10th appearance on his brother’s CNN show.
Chris Cuomo teased his brother with a giant nasal swab.
May 26, 2020
The New York Department of Health quietly deleted the Cuomo administration’s original March 25 nursing home order, according to Fox News.
June 19, 2020
Cuomo gave his last of 111 daily COVID-19 press conferences and declared victory over COVID-19.
“If you care for me and I care for you, we showed that in the end love does win. Love does conquer all. That no matter how dark the day, love brings the light,” Cuomo said. “That is what I will take from the past 111 days. It inspires me and energizes me and excites me. If we could accomplish together what we did here, this impossible task, of beating back this deadly virus then there is nothing we can’t do.”
July 6, 2020
The Cuomo administration published a report claiming the March 25 nursing home order did not lead to more nursing home deaths.
The New York State Department of Health knew that nearly 10,000 nursing home residents had died of COVID-19 by the time the report was released, but top Cuomo aides convinced the health department to report just 6,432 deaths at nursing home facilities, according to reports from The New York Times and Washington Post.
Cuomo and his top lieutenants repeatedly cited the report to falsely claim that New York was handling COVID-19 in nursing homes better than 45 other states.
July 10, 2020
Cuomo told a local radio station that he’s considering writing a book about the leadership lessons he learned during the pandemic.
July 13, 2020
Cuomo unveiled a poster he said was designed to commemorate New York’s victory in flattening the curve.
Cuomo sold more than 35,000 posters to customers in 33 different countries at a price of $11.50 each, according to Spectrum News.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 13, 2020
The poster was widely mocked by the media and the artistic community.
August 18, 2020
Cuomo announced he will publish a book titled, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From The COVID-19 Pandemic.
Cuomo bagged a seven-figure advance from Crown, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House, for his book, according to Vanity Fair.
August 19, 2020
Cuomo defended not reporting nursing home residents who died at hospitals, saying “if the hospital did a better job, they wouldn’t have died.”
August 26, 2020
The Justice Department requested nursing home data from New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Cuomo and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer balked at the request, calling it a “transparent politicization of the Department of Justice in the middle of the Republican National Convention.”
November 20, 2020
The International Emmy Awards announced Cuomo would receive the 2020 International Emmy Founders Award “in recognition of his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and his masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world.”
Dec. 13, 2020
Former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan accused Cuomo of sexually harassing her “for years” on Twitter, but doesn’t provide specific details of how Cuomo allegedly harassed her.
Cuomo denied the allegations.
January 28, 2021
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that the Cuomo administration undercounted nursing home deaths from COVID-19 by as much as 50%.
January 28, 2021
The Cuomo administration revealed that at least 12,743 nursing home and adult care facility residents had died of COVID-19. The number included 4,238 resident deaths that were previously not reported because they died outside of their facility.
February 11, 2021
The New York Post reported that Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa told state lawmakers during a call that they withheld the true number of nursing home COVID-19 deaths out of fear from federal prosecutors.
February 17, 2021
Cuomo reportedly called New York Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim and said he can “destroy” him if he did not cover up what DeRosa said in the phone call reported by The Post.
February 17, 2021
The FBI and a U.S. attorney in New York launch investigations into Cuomo and his administration over their handling of COVID-19 data in state nursing homes, according to the Albany Times-Union, ABC News and other reports.
February 22, 2021
Kim said Cuomo obstructed justice by concealing the true nursing home death toll from the Department of Justice and calls for the governor’s impeachment in a Newsweek op-ed.
February 24, 2021
Boylan, the former Cuomo aide, detailed how Cuomo allegedly sexually assaulted her in a Medium post. Boylan said Cuomo asked her to play strip poker in October 2017 and alleged the governor kissed her on the lips without her consent in his New York City office in 2018.
February 27, 2021
A second former Cuomo aide, Charlotte Bennet, accused Cuomo of sexual harassment.
Bennet accused Cuomo of questioning her about her history as a survivor of sexual assault and asked about her openness to a relationship with an older man beginning in spring of 2020, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in New York.
Bennet told CBS reporter Norah O’Donnell that the widespread adulation Cuomo garnered from his daily press conferences made him feel “untouchable.”
February 28, 2021
Cuomo asked New York Attorney General Letitia James for a referral to create a special counsel to conduct an independent investigation of the sexual harassment claims.
March 1, 2021
A third woman, Anna Ruch, accused Cuomo of inappropriately touching her during a wedding reception in September 2019.
March 1, 2021
Chris Cuomo, who had his brother on his show at least 10 times during the early stages of the pandemic, said he “obviously” can’t cover the sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo
“Obviously, I’m aware of what’s going on with my brother,” Chris Cuomo said. “Obviously, I cannot cover it because he is my brother. Now, of course, CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so.”
March 5, 2021
The New York legislature voted to strip Cuomo of his pandemic emergency powers.
March 6, 2021
Former Cuomo press aide Karen Hinton accuses Cuomo of hugging her in a dimly lit hotel room on a 2000 trip to Los Angeles when Cuomo was leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Hinton told The Washington Post the embrace was “very long, too tight, too intimate.”
More than 20 people who worked with Cuomo dating back to the 1990s described to The Washington Post how Cuomo cultivated a toxic culture in which he “unleashes searing verbal attacks on subordinates.
“Some said he seemed to delight in humiliating his employees, particularly in group meetings, and would mock male aides for not being tough enough,” The Washington Post reported.
March 6, 2021
Former Cuomo aide Ana Liss accused Cuomo of inappropriately touching her lower back, kissing her hand and asking about her relationship status between 2013 and 2015.
March 7, 2021
Top state Democratic lawmakers, including State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, called on Cuomo to resign amid multiple scandals.
“We have allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the COVID-19 nursing home data and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project,” Stewart-Cousins said.
“New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it,” she said. “We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.”
March 7, 2021
Cuomo said during a press call “there is no way I resign.”
“Let’s do the attorney general investigation, let’s get the findings, and then we’ll go from there,” Cuomo said. “But I’m not going to be distracted by this either.”
March 8, 2021
The publisher of Cuomo’s book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” told The New York Times it would stop promoting the book because of the ongoing investigation into the governor’s handling of nursing home data.
March 8, 2021
New York state Republican lawmakers call for impeachment proceedings to begin against Cuomo immediately.
“It’s been one bombshell after another,” state Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay said, citing the nursing home undercounting scandal, allegations of sexual assault and Cuomo’s hostile management style, according to the Times Union.
March 9, 2021
An Emerson College poll reported that Cuomo’s approval rating hits 38%, an all-time low.
March 9, 2021
The Times Union reported that an unnamed sixth woman, a member of Cuomo’s Executive Chamber staff, filed a complaint alleging that Cuomo inappropriately touched her during a late 2020 encounter in the governor’s mansion.
Nicole Iuzzolino contributed to this report.
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