METROFOCUS: March 8, 2021

Tonight it’s a look at late-breaking news making headlines across the nation and the tri-state. From the latest on the race for the vaccine one year after covid to Governor Cuomo’s #MeToo moment and much more. Deputy editor at The City Alyssa Katz, Political strategist Na’ilah Amaru and CUNY Professor and former President of the New York City Board of Elections, J.C. Polanco join us.

TRANSCRIPT

POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A.

AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, THE PETER G.

PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION, JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, THE CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO THE 'METROFOCUS' FRONT PAGE FORECAST, I'M RAUF YEL PEA ROW MAN.

TONIGHT AS WE MARK INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO IS FACING MOUNTING PRESSURE FOLLOWING MORE ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

WE'LL DISCUSS THE NEW ACCUSATIONS, AND WHY THE STATE SENATE'S TOP DEMOCRAT ANDREA STUART COUSINS IS NOW CALLING ON THE GOVERNOR TO RESIGN.

WE'LL TALK ABOUT WHAT NEW YORK CITY'S MAYORAL CANDIDATE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE SCANDALS AND ASK IF THIS IS THE TIME FOR NEW YORK'S FIRST FEMALE MAYOR OR GOVERNOR FOR THAT MATTER.

IT WILL ALSO LOOK AT HOW THE COVID RELIEF BILL THAT JUST PASSED THE SENATE WILL LIKELY IMPACT NEW YORKERS, AND JOINING ME TO DISCUSS THESE AND OTHER STORIES ARE NAYELA NAMARU, JAY SEE BLANKO, AND ALYSSA KATZ.

WELCOME ALL.

ALYSSA, BEFORE WE GET TO SENATE MAJORITY LEADER STUART COUSINS CALL FOR THE GOVERNOR TO RESIGN I WONDER IF YOU WOULD TELL US ABOUT THE TWO WOMEN WHO ACCUSED THE GOVERNOR OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT OVER THE WEEKEND AND THE ESSENCE OF THEIR CHARGES.

SURE.

THESE TWO EVENTS TOOK PLACE QUITE A FEW A FEW YEARS APART.

THE FIRST OF THESE ACCUSATIONS IS COMING FROM KAREN HINTON WHO WORKED FOR ANDREW CUOMO WHEN HE WAS UNDER THE CLINS ADMINISTRATION.

WHAT HINTON IS ALLEGING IS THAT HE ARRANGED FOR THEM TO BOTH GO TO HIS HOTEL ROOM AND THAT THERE BASICALLY HE PUT THE MOVES ON HER, HE ATTEMPT TO HAVE PHYSICAL CONTACT THAT SHE THEN GOT OUT OF THE ROOM.

AS SOON AS SHE COULD.

CUOMO'S DENYING, HINTON IS STANDING BY THIS AND SHE HAS WRITTEN QUITE A BIT BOTH ABOUT, YOU KNOW, ABOUT CUOMO AND IN GENERAL HOW THESE SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS -- WORKS IN GOVERNMENT AND FOR HER TO MAKE THIS ACCUSATION IS QUITE SERIOUS.

THE OTHER ACCUSATION COMES FROM ANNA LISS AN AIDE TO THE GOVERNOR A FEW YEARS AGO WHO HAD A DESK NEAR THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE AND SHE DESCRIBES HOW HE BASICALLY ARRANGED TO WALK BY HER DESK AT DIFFERENT TIMES, SHE SAID, HAD INAPPROPRIATELY KISSED HER HAND, HAD ASKED HER QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER SHE HAD A BOYFRIEND.

GENERALLY MADE HER FEEL VERY UNCOMFORTABLE.

AND THIS FOLLOWED SOME OF THE PATTERN WE HAD SEEN WITH THE ALLEGATIONS FROM CHARLOTTE BENNETT, THE ACCUSER WHO HAS A SERIES OF ENCOUNTERS WITH THE GOVERNOR IN WHICH HE HAD ASKED HER QUESTIONS ABOUT, WOULD SHE DATE OLDER MEN, HE'S INTERESTED IN YOUNGER WOMEN.

ASKED HER ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT, AND SO ON.

AND SO WE'RE SEEING THIS ACCUMULATION OF NOW FIVE DIFFERENT REPORTS OF CUOMO REALLY CROSSING BOUNDARIES WITH WOMEN AND AT LEAST ONE INSTANCE WITH BENNETT REALLY PRETTY CLEARLY FITTING THE DESCRIPTION OF PROHIBITED SEXUAL HARASSMENT AS DEFINED IN STATE LAWS THAT CUOMO HIMSELF REALLY HELPED BEEF UP AS THE ME TOO MOVEMENT REALLY GAINED FORCE.

SO NAYELA, MAJORITY LEADER STUART COUSINS, CALLED FOR THE GOVERNOR TO RESIGN YESTERDAY.

FIRST OF ALL, DID THAT SURPRISE YOU, AND SECONDLY WHAT DOES THAT -- WHAT WILL THAT MEAN FOR THE GOVERNOR'S ABILITY TO HOLD ON TO POWER?

SO RETROSTATEMENT I WASN'T NECESSARILY SURPRISED.

I THINK IT'S AN IMPORTANT STATEMENT IN TERMS OF WHERE -- YOU KNOW, THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER STANDS ON, YOU KNOW, CHOOSING TO, YOU KNOW, BELIEVE AND SUPPORT WOMEN WHO COME FORWARD AND SHARE THEIR STORIES OF, YOU KNOW, OF PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR FROM THE GOVERNOR AS OPPOSED TO WHAT IS OFTENTIMES THE STORY AS CHOOSING TO PROTECT THEIR OWN POWER AT THE EXPENSE OF WOMEN WHO DO CHOOSE TO SHARE THEIR STORIES.

SHE HAS WITH HER STATEMENT CHOSEN TO SHOW THAT SHE IS TAKING A BREAK FROM THE WAY THAT, YOU KNOW, POLITICIANS HAVE TYPICALLY HANDLED THESE TYPES OF SITUATIONS BY CALLING FOR THE RESIGNATION OF THE GOVERNOR INSTEAD OF CHOOSING TO COVER IT UP, BRUSH IT UNDER THE RUG, WHICH HAS BEEN THE STORY OF HOW THESE TYPES OF SITUATIONS HAVE BEEN TYPICALLY HANDLED IN ALBANY.

WHAT'S IT GOING TO MEAN FOR -- THAT'S A BIG STEP.

THAT'S A BIG CHANGE IN THE DYNAMICS.

WHAT'S IT GOING TO MEAN FOR THE GOVERNOR?

I THINK FOR THE GOVERNOR AND PARTICULARLY IN THE TERMS OF BUDGET TALKS, IT POTENTIALLY SETS UP A NEW DYNAMI IF YOU WILL OF, YOU KNOW, THAT BOTH OF THE STATE LEADERS, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER COUSINS AND ASSEMBLY SPEAKER HASTY TO POTENTIALLY MAKE A LOT OF THESE BUDGET DECISIONS ON THEIR OWN AS CUOMO HAS, YOU KNOW, LOST HIS POWER IF YOU WILL IN TERMS OF THE TRADITIONAL WAY THAT THE BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS ARE TYPICALLY DISCUSSED.

HE MAY NOT NECESSARILY BE OPEN TO NEGOTIATING WITH THE TWO TOP STATE LEADERS WHO HAVE CALLED FOR HIM TO EITHER RESIGN OR CONSIDER STEPPING DOWN, WHICH WAS THE LANGUAGE THAT ASSEMBLY SPEAKER KARL HASTY USED.

YOU KNOW, WHICH COULD POTENTIALLY HAVE A CONSEQUENCE ON THE TRADITIONAL WAY THAT OUR STATE BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS HAVE TYPICALLY HAPPENED.

YOU KNOW, IN A TELEPHONE PRESS BRIEFING YESTERDAY THE GOVERNOR SAID THAT HE WAS NOT GOING TO RESIGN BECAUSE OF ALLEGATIONS BECAUSE -- MAKE AN ALLEGATION, AND THAT TO RESIGN BECAUSE OF AN ALLEGATION IS, IN EFFECT, IN HIS WORDS, UNDEMOCRATIC, THAT EVERYONE SHOULD WAIT FOR THE CONCLUSION OF THE INVESTIGATION THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS CONDUCTING.

WHICH BY THE WAY SENATOR GILL BRAND AND SENATOR SCHUMER SAYING THEY'RE WAITING FOR THAT BEFORE THEY MAKE A COMMENT.

SO FAR THAT'S THEIR STATEMENT.

DOES HE HAVE A POINT AND IS THERE ANYBODY IN ALBANY WITH POWER LISTENING TO THAT POINT?

I THINK ONLY HE KNOWS, ONLY HE KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON IN HIS SOUL.

IT'S TOUGH ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY FOR EVERYONE WATCHING AND CELEBRATING TODAY FOR WOMEN ACROSS THE STATE TO DEAL WITH THIS AND IT'S MAKING NATIONAL NEWS.

MY HEART AND MY PRAYERS AND THOUGHTS ARE WITH THOSE THAT HAVE ACCUSED THE GOVERNOR OF THIS WRONGDOING.

BUT RAPHAEL, I THINK IT'S A BREATH OF FRESH AIR TO SEE PEOPLE WITHIN THEIR OWN PARTY DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY FROM LEADERS OF THEIR OWN PARTY.

THAT'S AN INCREDIBLE THING FOR US TO SEE.

IT CHANGES THE DYNAMICS STATEWIDE.

THE GOVERNOR IS NOT WITHOUT HIS SINS AND I KNOW REPUBLICANS AND INDEPENDENTS ACROSS NEW YORK HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR CURTAILING HIS POWER, CALLING FOR HIS RESIGNATION, FOR THE DEATHS AT NURSING HOMES.

BUT TO SEE NOW THAT THIS IS NOW A BIPARTISAN ISSUE IS SOMETHING THAT'S INCREDIBLE AND TO SEE SENATOR COUSINS AND SPEAKER HASTY JOIN THE LEADERS ON THE OTHER SIDE CALL FOR THIS, IT'S ACTUALLY INCREDIBLE.

AND I HOPE THE CHANGES THE DYNAMICS STATEWIDE THAT WE MAKE SURE THAT SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND THE ACCUSATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT ARE NO LONGER PARTISAN.

THIS DOESN'T RECOGNIZE POLITICAL LABELS.

THIS EGREGIOUS BEHAVIOR KNOWS NO BOUNDS AND I'M GLAD TO SEE FINALLY BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ARE UNIFYING ON THIS ISSUE.

HAVING SAID THAT, I THINK YOUR VIEWERS WOULD RECOGNIZE THAT THERE HAS TO BE SOME SORT OF DUE PROCESS OR ELSE THIS DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT.

IT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT TO HEAR WOMEN BEING HARASSED THIS WAY.

AT THE SAME TIME WE KNOW THAT THERE IS A SYSTEM IN PLACE, IF THERE'S ANYONE THAT CAN GET THIS DONE IT'S THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

ATTORNEY GENERAL LETITIA -- HAS -- DO WE GIVE HER AN OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE OUT THIS REPORT AND AT THE END MAKE A RECOMMENDATION OR DO WE, IN FACT, DEMAND A RESIGNATION AND AN IMPEACHMENT WITHOUT AN INVESTIGATION?

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT YOUR VIEWERS, I THINK, HAVE TO ADMIT DOESN'T SIT WELL, AND WE REALLY NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW WE'RE GOING TO GO ABOUT THESE ISSUES IN THE FUTURE.

ALYSSA, YOU LOOK THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA, YOU KNOW I'M NOT SURE WHAT THE LATEST POLLS SAY, BUT YOU LOOK THROUGH THE SOCIAL MEDIA WHEN THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT THE SCANDAL, SEXUAL HARASSMENT, THE OTHER SCANDALS REVOLVING AROUND THE GOVERNOR.

AND MAY NOT -- 50/50 WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING, HEY, YOU KNOW, DON'T DO THIS.

YOU KNOW, DEMOCRATS, FELLOW DEMOCRATS YOU'RE PLAYING INTO THE HANDS OF REPUBLICANS.

THIS IS A REPUBLICAN PLOT.

DON'T DO THIS.

IS ANYBODY -- ARE THE DEMOCRATS IN ALBANY PAYING ATTENTION?

IS THIS SOMETHING THEY'RE TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION?

IT'S INTERESTING, I CAN'T SPEAK TO WHAT THE DEMOCRATS IN ALBANY ARE DOING ABOUT THIS BUT SURELY THEY'RE AWARE OF WHAT YOU'RE DESCRIBING.

I THINK, YOU KNOW, WHAT THE REACTION YOU'RE SEEING FROM JUST, YOU KNOW, FOLKS ON SOCIAL MEDIA WHO ARE DEMOCRATS, WHO JUST SURVIVED THE TRAUMA OF TRUMP UNDERSTOOD THAT THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST TRUMP INVOLVED ACTIONS, YOU KNOW, THAT IN THEIR OWN WAY WERE AS OR MORE SERIOUS THAN THINGS THAT CUOMO'S ACCUSED OF BUT IN PARTICULAR PEOPLE REMEMBER THE SAGA ABOUT FRANKEN, THE SENATOR FROM MINNESOTA, WHO, YOU KNOW, RESIGNED AFTER ALLEGATIONS WHICH WERE, I THINK, YOU KNOW, PRETTY CLEARLY IN MANY CASES, HE HAD COME FROM VERY POLITICIZED SOURCES.

THAT HE RESIGNED PRIOR TO AN INVESTIGATION, AND ONE REASON HE RESIGNED WAS BECAUSE HE HAD -- SENATORS INCLUDING ESPECIALLY NEW YORK'S SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND SAYING FRANKEN MUST RESIGN.

GIVEN EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED AFTER -- AND DURING THAT EXPERIENCE, THE DEMOCRATS ARE VERY WARY.

I THINK ONE INTERESTING ASPECT OF THIS IS THAT YOU HAVE CERTAIN FOLKS ON SOCIAL MEDIA ACTUALLY KIND OF DENYING WHAT THEY ARE, IN FACT, HEARING FROM WOMEN.

RIGHT?

AND IT'S VERY TROUBLING TO HEAR THAT KIND OF DENIALISM GOING ON, SPEAKING TO JC'S POINT.

I THINK WHAT YOU ULTIMATELY HAVE HERE IS THAT THE DEMOCRATS ARE REALLY FORCED TO LIVE BY THE EXTREMELY HIGH STANDARDS THAT THEY COLLECTIVELY AS A PARTY SET ON -- AFTER HARVEY WEINSTEIN AND ME TOO, AND AS I ALLUDED TO BEFORE, CUOMO WAS WERE MUCH OUT IN FRONT, KIND OF EMBRACING ME TOO AND A RESPONSE TO ME TOO, AS HIS ISSUE.

SO HE REQUIRED MANDATORY SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING FOR ALL WORKERS IN NEW YORK STATE, INCLUDING HIMSELF.

HE REALLY INTENSIFIED THE DEFINITION OF SEXUAL -- I SHOULDN'T SAY INTENSIFIED.

HE ALTERED THE DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT THAT THAT IT IS IN FACT EASIER TO PROVE UNDER THE LAW IN NEW YORK WHICH AGAIN MAY HAVE MADE HIS ACTIONS IN FACT QUALIFY AS SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN OUR HUMAN RIGHTS CODE.

AND HE GENERALLY JUST EMBRACED ME TOO AS AN ISSUE POLITICALLY.

SO I THINK THAT THAT, IF ANYTHING, IS GOING TO BE WHAT MAKES THIS PROCESS MORE DIFFICULT FOR HIMSELF AND IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN OTHERWISE.

AND IT'S A TRUE POLITICAL CONUNDRUM.

SO NAYELA, WHAT CARDS DOES THE GOVERNOR HAVE THAT WILL HELP HIM HOLD ON?

I THINK ONE OF THE BIGGEST CARDS THAT HE HOLDS IS THAT POLITICS IS A LONG GAME AND PEOPLE HAVE SHORT MEMORIES, AND WHILE HE'S GOING THROUGH IT THIS WEEK, AND MAY BE GOING THROUGH IT A COUPLE -- YOU KNOW, A COUPLE MORE WEEKS, YOU KNOW, WHEN IT COMES TIME FOR REELECTION WILL IT STILL BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF, YOU KNOW, THE NEW YORK ELECTORATE WHEN IT COMES TIME TO CAST THEIR BALLOTS?

IF HE SHOULD CHOOSE TO RUN AGAIN.

I ALSO THINK SOMETHING ELSE THAT HE HAS, AGAIN, IN HIS FAVOR IS ALSO, YOU KNOW, HIS ABILITY TO -- HE KNOWS ALBANY.

HE KNOWS HOW ALBANY WORKS AND THAT'S NOT TO SAY THAT FOLKS WHO ARE, YOU KNOW, IN THIS ALBANY SPACE DO NOT, BUT IF THERE'S ANY ONE PERSON IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK WHO UNDERSTANDS HOW TO CONTROL WHAT HE CAN CONTROL IN THE POLITICAL CONTEXT IN ALBANY, IT IS THE GOVERNOR.

AND TO NOT JUST KIND OF MAKE THE ASSUMPTION THAT BECAUSE HE'S GOING THROUGH IT WITH A NEGATIVE PRESS CYCLE THIS WEEK OR MAYBE NEXT WEEK, YOU KNOW PRESS CYCLES COME AND GO AND JUST, YOU KNOW, HE HAD PROVEN TIME AND AGAIN THAT HE HAS THIS KNACK, THIS ABILITY TO REALLY JUST KIND OF GET OVER, YOU KNOW, PREVIOUS CHALLENGES.

AND SO I THINK THAT TIME WILL TELL, YOU KNOW, HOW MUCH DAMAGE THIS WILL HAVE CAUSED HIM WHEN THERE'S DISTANCE BETWEEN, YOU KNOW, HIM ASKING FOR OUR SUPPORT AS THE NEW YORK ELECTORATE AS OPPOSED TO WHAT HE'S GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW WHICH IS A NEGATIVE PRESS CYCLE WHICH IS -- IF YOU WILL.

SO JC, THE REASON I ASKED YOU ABOUT THE CARDS, ONE OF THE REASONS IS BECAUSE THIS STRUCK ME YESTERDAY FROM HIS PRESS BRIEFING, THIS IS A QUOTE FROM THE GOVERNOR.

OKAY, LET'S RELEASE ALL THE ALLEGATIONS THAT JCAPE, AND THEN DECIDE PUBLICLY IF THOSE SENATORS SHOULD RESIGN, AND SAID THAT'S ABSURD.

I'M WONDERING, WAS THAT A THINLY VEILED THREAT, ONE OF THE CARDS HE MAY BE WILLING TO PLAY.

THAT'S WHY OUR ATTORNEYS NEVER ALLOW CLIENTS TO SPEAK IN FRONT OF THE PRESS, HE'S SPEAKING OUT OF EMOTION AND ANGER AND THE FACT THAT HE SAYS THESE ARE JUST ALLEGATIONS, LET THE INVESTIGATION HAPPEN.

AND HE KNOWS THAT THERE ARE MANY A ALLEGATIONS IN ALBANY THAT TAKE PLACE ABOUT ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

HE'S DEFENDING HIMSELF, ALMOST LASHING OUT.

WE SAW THAT A LOT COMING OUT OF WASHINGTON LAST FUR YEARS, WHAT SITS WELL WITH THE VOTERS AND NEW YORKERS, THIS DOESN'T SIT WELL, TO HEAR THAT KIND OF TALK BOTHERS US AND THIS DOESN'T BODE WELL.

I WOULD ADVISE HIM TO STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS, YOU MADE YOUR POINT.

LET THE INVESTIGATION TAKE ITS COURSE.

AND, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE MEMBERS THAT ARE GOING TO ASK FOR YOUR RESIGNATION.

YOU KNOW, YOU'RE A TOUGH COOKIE.

YOU YELL AT PEOPLE.

YOU KNOW, ASSEMBLY MEMBERS HAVE COME OUT AND SAID THAT YOU'VE YELLED AT THEM.

NOBODY LIKES TO BE YELLED AT.

THIS IS THEIR OPPORTUNITY NOW TO GET EVEN AND THEY -- THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

HE HAS TO JUST BUCKLE DOWN AND HOLD ON FOR THE RIDE.

THIS IS GOING TO GET REALLY BAD THIS WEEK.

LET MS. JAMES DO HER JOB.

HOW MUCH OF THAT IS PART OF THIS, GETTING EVEN WITH A GOVERNOR WHO THEY'VE HATED.

HOW MUCH OF THAT IS THIS?

I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT DEMANDING RESIGNATION TO GET EVEN, THEY'RE BREAKING OUT OF THE NORM LET'S KEEP QUIET WHEN IT'S IN OUR OWN PARTY AS A REFLECTION OF THE FACT, HEY, YOU HAVEN'T BEEN KIND TO ME.

I DON'T HAVE TO BE KIND TO YOU.

THE RULES OF THE GAME OF BEFORE ARE NO LONGER THE RULES.

YOU MAY BE IN MY PARTY, BUT I'M COMING AFTER YOU.

YOU SEE THAT WITH ASSEMBLYMAN KIM, FROM THE OTHER SIDE I NEVER SEE THIS, THIS IS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR TO ACTUALLY SEE ACCOUNTABILITY AND THEY MAY SEE GLOVES OFF BECAUSE OF A HISTORY OF BEING TOUGH ON THEM.

ALYSSA, THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT CHARGES HAVE BEEN SOMEWHAT OVERSHADOWING THE NURSING HOME SCANDAL FOR THE PAST WEEK.

BUT THERE HAVE BEEN STORIES, BREAKING, ABOUT THE NURSING HOME SCANDALS THAT ARE QUITE POWERFUL.

FOR EXAMPLE, LAST WEEK WE LEARNED THAT THE GOVERNOR'S TOP AIDES REWROTE A REPORT BY THE STATE'S HEALTH DEPARTMENT LAST JUNE, OMITTING THE NUMBERS OF DEATH -- UP TO THAT TIME, OF PEOPLE IN NURSING HOMES AS A RESULT OF COVID.

THIS IS SOMETHING WE DIDN'T KNOW BEFORE.

THIS IS IN JUNE.

HOW BIG IS THIS STORY?

IT SEEMS BIG.

YOU KNOW, IT IS, IN FACT,IC CUOMO ACTING IN TYPICAL CUOMO WAYS IN NOT RECOGNIZING THAT THE STAKES OF THE MOMENT WITH THE BEREAVED -- AND THE INTENSE SCRUTINY OVER COVID WOULD MEAN THAT THEIR ACTIONS WOULD BE APPALLING AND REALLY TROUBLING.

BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, BACK IN APRIL, FIRST NEW YORK WAS ONE OF THE LATER STATES TO RELEASE NURSING HOME DEATH NUMBERS AT ALL.

WE -- MY REPORTERS I WAS WORKING WITH WERE ASKING FOR THEM ON A DAILY BASIS.

WHEN CAN WE FIND OUT HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN NURSING HOMES?

IN MID-APRIL WHEN THE ADMINISTRATION FINALLY DID BEGIN TO RELEASE DEATHS BY NURSING HOMES, REPORTERS KEPT ASKING QUESTIONS AND IT BECAME CLEAR IMMEDIATELY THE ADMINISTRATION ADMITTED IT THAT THEY WERE NOT COUNTING DEATHS THAT TOOK PLACE IN HOSPITALS OF PATIENTS WHO HAD BEEN DISCHARGED FROM NURSING HOMES OR WHO HAD BEEN IN NURSING HOMES, GOTTEN ILL AND THEN TRANSFERRED TO HOSPITALS.

WE REPORTED THIS AT THE TIME.

AND I THINK IT WAS IN PART BECAUSE SO MUCH WAS GOING ON, THIS WAS REALLY AT THE PEAK OF THE FATALITIES AND THE CRISIS, AND WITH SO MUCH GOING ON, THE ADMINISTRATION REALLY DID NOT GET VERY MUCH PUSHBACK ON THOSE NUMBERS AT THE TIME.

INCLUDING FROM THE LEADERSHIP OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE.

YOU KNOW, YOU WOULD HAVE VOICES FROM THE CITY COUNCIL AND SOME ON, ELSEWHERE IN THE STATE RAISING QUESTIONS BUT THAT WAS ABOUT IT.

AND SO MY SENSE IS THAT THAT REALLY EMBOLDENED THE CUOMO ADMINISTRATION TO CONTINUE THIS GAMING OF THE NUMBERS AS CUOMO WENT TO WORK ON A BOOK, CELEBRATING HIS HEROISM, IN RESPONSE TO COVID, AND, YOU KNOW, AS -- NOW THAT'S A REVISIONIST STORY FROM THE ADMINISTRATION BECAME ONCE THE TRUMP JUSTICE DEPARTMENT STARTED ASKING FOR NUMBERS WE COULDN'T GIVE THEM THE NUMBERS BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE TURNED IT INTO A POLITICAL ATTACK.

THEY HAD BEEN COVERING UP NUMBERS SINCE APRIL.

IF THAT'S THE POINT, NAYELA, THAT'S THE MAIN REASON THEY'RE GIVING NOW, WHY THEY DIDN'T GIVE THESE NUMBERS IS WHAT ALYSSA JUST SAID, WHICH BECAUSE THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DOJ WAS GOING TO USE IT AS A WITCH -- YOU KNOW, A WITCH HUNT OF THE CUOMO ADMINISTRATION.

BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, THAT IT LOOKS -- THIS REPORT SHOWS WHAT JUST CAME OUT, SHOWS THAT THEY WERE HIDING THE NUMBERS TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE CUOMO ADMINISTRATION BEGAN LOOKING FOR THE NUMBERS IN AUGUST.

HOW DID THEY SQUARE THAT CIRCLE NOW?

I DON'T THINK THAT THEY CAN.

IN A WAY THAT IS HONEST, FULLY, WITH NEW YORKERS.

I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, WHEN CUOMO PUT OUT THE STORY WAS BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WANT -- YOU KNOW, THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, TO ATTACK THE NUMBERS, I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT, YOU KNOW, EVERY ELECTED OFFICIAL AND, YOU KNOW, GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION OWES TO THE PUBLIC, WHICH IS THE TRUTH.

YOU KNOW, THE TRUTH OF HOW GOVERNMENT IS PERFORMING, AND IF IT'S NOT PERFORMING, YOU KNOW, THE WAY THAT IT SHOULD BE, THEN LET THAT BE A SPACE FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND HARD LESSONS LEARNED SO THAT GOVERNMENT CAN DO BETTER IN THE FUTURE AS OPPOSED TO PLAYING WITH NUMBERS TO SOFTEN THE BLOW FOR POLITICAL REASONS IS NOT EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE AND IT'S CERTAINLY NOT GOVERNANCE THAT LEADS TO TRUST BY AN ELECTORATE THAT ELECTED THE PEOPLE TO SERVE IN GOVERNMENT.

JC, THE OTHER BIG NEWS THAT WE LEARNED LAST WEEK, RELATING TO THE NURSING HOME SCANDAL, WELL THAT WE LEARNED THAT HAPPENED, WAS THAT THE LEGISLATURE, BOTH HOUSES OF THE LEGISLATURE, PASSED THE RESCINDING OF THE GOVERNOR'S EMERGENCY POWERS THAT HE HAD THAT WAS GIVEN TO HIM LAST YEAR WHEN COVID -- THE PANDEMIC BEGAN.

WHAT STRUCK ME, HOWEVER, IS THAT ALL THE REPUBLICANS, IF I'M RIGHT, BOTH IN THE SENATE AND THE ASSEMBLY VOTED, AGAINST THAT.

WHY?

WELL, BECAUSE IT WASN'T STRONG ENOUGH.

YOU KNOW, THEY SAW IT AS WINDOW DRESSING, CONSIDERING THE REALITIES OF WHAT WE'VE HEARD FROM OUR GUESTS TODAY, IT'S JUST INCREDIBLE TO SEE THAT KIND OF LIGHT, YOU KNOW KID GLOVES ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE POWER OF THE GOVERNOR'S EMERGENCIES -- EMERGENCY POWERS THAT HE GOT LAST YEAR.

I THINK THEY VIEWED IT AS BEING TOO WEAK.

NAYELA, WE'RE IN THE MIDST OF A MAYORAL RACE, IT'S THE MOST ST -- WHAT ARE THE MAYORAL CANDIDATES SAYING ABOUT THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT SCANDALS?

WELL, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THEM HAVE CALLED FOR, YOU KNOW, GOVERNOR CUOMO TO RESIGN.

OTHER FOLKS HAVE NOT GONE SO FAR BUT HAVE REALLY, YOU KNOW, ENCOURAGED AGAIN THE INVESTIGATION, YOU KNOW, BUT THE WAIT AND SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING.

I DO THINK SOMETHING THAT HAS CHANGED THE DYNAMIC OF THE MAYORAL RACE IS THE POWER OF POTENTIAL ENDORSEMENT.

THE TALKING POINT HAS BEEN WILL NEW YORK CITY FINALLY GET A MAYOR THAT CAN HAVE AN EFFECTIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GOVERNOR AND IN LIGHT OF, YOU KNOW, THE PAST COUPLE WEEKS THE QUESTION IS, YOU KNOW, WILL MAYORAL -- DO NEW YORK'S MAYORAL CANDIDATES WANT TO SEEK AN ENDORSEMENT FROM GOVERNOR CUOMO?

AND, YOU KNOW, IS THAT REALLY, YOU KNOW, A TALKING POINT THAT THEY WANT TO LEAD WITH IN TERMS OF HOW EFFECTIVE THEIR POTENTIAL MAYORAL CANDIDACY CAN BE.

I'M GUESSING NOT FOR THE TIME BEING.

. BUT WITH THIS SEXUAL HARASSMENT -- THAT ARE HAPPENING NOW AND THE FALLOUT, NEW YORK STATE AND NEW YORK CITY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PROGRESSIVE, AMONG THE MOST IN THE COUNTRY, WE'VE NEVER HAD A WOMAN GOVERNOR OR WOMAN MAYOR, I WONDER IF THE FALLOUT OF WHAT JC WAS TALKING ABOUT EARLIER, IF THAT'S GOING TO CHANGE THE DYNAMIC, IF THAT'S GOING TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR WOMEN, ONE OF THE WOMEN CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR MAYOR NOW, TO HAVE A SHOT, THAT PERHAPS NOT AS MUCH AS THEY HAD BEFORE.

IN A VERY DIRECT SENSE, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR KATHY HOGLE WILL BECOME GOVERNOR IF CUOMO DOES RESIGN, WE HAVE YET TO HEAR ANYTHING.

AND, YOU KNOW, I WAS VERY INTRIGUED WHEN MAYOR DE BLASIO IN HIS BRIEFING THIS MORNING TO THE PRESS THAT HE BELIEVES THAT THERE'S MORE INFORMATION THAT'S GOING TO COME OUT.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT HE'S ALLUDING TO, BUT THERE MAY BE A LOT OF INFORMATION COMING OUT SO I THINK ALSO WITH THE MAYORAL RACE WE'RE SEEING SUCH A STRONG FIELD OF WOMEN RUNNING.

AND, YOU KNOW, FORTUNATELY DO NOT -- AT THIS MOMENT, ALTHOUGH WITH ONE EXCEPTION INVOLVING ANDREW YANG FOR A FORMER EMPLOYEE AT HIS TEST PREP COMPANY SAYING HE NEVER ALLEGED SEXUAL HARASSMENT BUT ALLEGED THAT HE HAD BEEN A VERY -- LIKE BASICALLY A SEXIST BOSS, DID NOT -- WAS NOT ACCOMMODATING OF HER WHEN SHE BECAME A MOM.

OTHER THAN THAT WE HAVE NOT HEARD ANY SIMILAR ALLEGATIONS INVOLVING THE MAYORAL FIELD BUT IT'S REALLY A MOMENT TO THEN REFLECT ON WOMEN IN POWER AND ALSO TO UNDERSTAND THAT WOMEN REALLY DO LEAD DIFFERENTLY AND THAT THE KIND OF ENTITLEMENT THAT ANDREW CUOMO DISPLAYED NOT ONLY IN HIS THIRD TERM, BUT ACCORDING TO KAREN HINTON WHEN HE WAS HUD SECRETARY THAT HE REALLY DID, AT MINIMUM, ADMITTED BEHAVIOR, I'M SORRY, I BEHAVE A CERTAIN WAY, I TALK A CERTAIN WAY, THAT HE FELT SO ENTITLED TO SPEAK IN THIS MANNER TO WOMEN, TO TOUCH THEIR BACKS AS WE'RE HEARING FROM MULTIPLE ALLEGATIONS, ALL OF THAT STUFF AT MINIMUM YOU'RE SEEING A LEVEL OF ENTITLEMENT AND WHAT KAREN HINTON CALLED PENIS POLITICS.

PEOPLE WILL BE REFLECTS ON THAT AT THE VOTING BOOTH.

JC, A COUPLE MINUTES LEFT AND I WANT TO GET INTO THE COVID RELIEF BILL.

IT PASSED THE SENATE YESTERDAY, I THINK, OR LATE SATURDAY NIGHT.

AND IT'S NOW GOING BACK TO THE HOUSE BUT IT'S EXPECTED TO PASS THERE TOO.

HOW WILL THIS COVID RELIEF BILL AFFECT NEW YORK CITY AND THE TRI-STATE AREA?

WELL, I THINK THAT INITIALLY IT'S GOING TO BE GREAT NEWS FOR THOSE THAT ARE DESPERATELY NEEDING THE FUNDS, ESPECIALLY STATE ASK LOCAL GOVERNMENTS THAT DESPERATELY NEED MONEY, THIS HAS BEEN TERRIBLE FOR THEM.

THE QUESTION BECOMES, WAS IT RESPONSIBLE OR WAS IT RESPONSIBLE TO GIVE THIS MUCH MONEY OUT TO PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT HAVE NEEDED RELIEF?

AND THAT'S THE QUESTION THAT WE'RE HEARING FROM A LOT OF INDEPENDENTS AND CENTRISTS, WOULD IT HAVE BEEN WISER LIKE SO MANY SEVENTH IRSS AND INDEPENDENTS, TO MAKE A MORE CONCENTRATED EFFORT.

WHY NOT, INSTEAD OF DILUTING THE AMOUNT OF MONEY AVAILABLE, TO GIVE TO MORE PEOPLE, THAT WE FOCUS ON THOSE WHO REALLY HAVE SUFFERED BECAUSE OF COVID AND GIVE THEM EVEN MORE MONEY.

I THINK YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN AMERICANS SUCCEED MORE, IF THAT WAS THE CASE, BUT UNFORTUNATELY THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT MANY CENTRISTS AND INDEPENDENTS IN THE SENATE COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY WE WERE THROWING MONEY AT PEOPLE WHO HADN'T REALLY SUFFERED BECAUSE OF COVID, INSTEAD OF HELPING THOSE WHO REALLY NEEDED THE FUNDS.

I THINK THAT WAS A MISTAKE IN THIS BILL, AND I THINK MANY OF US IN THE FUTURE ARE GOING TO REALIZE THAT IT WAS, IN FACT, THE WRONG WAY TO GO ABOUT THIS FUNDING.

BUT IF ANY -- IS GOING TO BENEFIT, NEW YORK IS GOING TO BENEFIT.

NO QUESTION NEW YORK AS A WHOLE BECAUSE OF THE LOCALITY FUNDING THAT'S IN THIS BILL.

SO YOU ALL AGREE ON THAT.

30 SECONDS LEFT, I NEED A YES OR NO ANSWER ON THIS.

WILL GOVERNOR CUOMO SERVE OUT HIS THIRD TERM, HIS CURRENT TERM, JC?

I DON'T KNOW.

YES OR NO.

YES.

YES.

ALYSSA?

YES, UNLESS -- UNLESS WE HEAR SOMETHING ELSE.

OKAY.

NAYELA.

YES.

OKAY.

AND YOU THINK HE MIGHT EVEN RUN AGAIN.

I WAS SURPRISED ABOUT THAT.

OKAY, I THINK THAT'S WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO END IT.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY.

AS ALWAYS, IT'S BEEN TERRIFIC.

THANK YOU.

BYE-BYE, GUYS.

HAVE A GOOD DAY.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, THE PETER G.

PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION, AND BY JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

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