They're Trying to Impeach Andrew Cuomo for the Wrong Thing | Opinion

The New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee has launched an impeachment investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo "to examine allegations of misconduct against Governor Cuomo," Speaker of the House Carl Heastie announced Thursday evening.

NEW: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie confirms the Assembly Judiciary Committee will launch an investigation into Cuomo, with subpoena power.

They are terming it as an "impeachment investigation."

— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellGAN) March 11, 2021

The allegations of misconduct are a recent cascade of MeToo accusations of sexual harassment from six women, some of whom were working for Cuomo at the the time of the alleged misconduct. The women have accused the governor of asking inappropriate questions, making sexually explicit comments, non-consensual kissing, and most recently, groping.

The accusations have led to a growing chorus calling on the governor to resign, most recently from New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio. But Cuomo has refused, leading New York Assembly leadership to open its impeachment inquiry.

The problem is, they're not trying to impeach Cuomo for his most grievous actions.

These are serious allegations, and they should be investigated. But in the media's eagerness to cover this cascade of sexual misconduct, it has completely forgotten about the real reason the governor should resign or be impeached: his role in the deaths of the state's elderly and—as we're now learning—the developmentally disabled.

For while the governor was being lauded on cable news every night, yukking it up with his brother on CNN and earning an Emmy for his book on his own leadership through the pandemic, senior citizens were dying in shocking numbers in the Empire State, their deaths linked to a March order originating from the Governor's office that required nursing homes to accept any patient, even those who tested positive for COVID. And in forcing nursing homes to deal with COVID positive cases, Cuomo essentially lit a match at a gas station. Thousands of New York's seniors died. The order was ultimately rescinded, but it was too late; 15 percent of the state's nursing home residents have died of the virus.

Instead of admitting the mistake, though, the governor's office chose to underreport the numbers in an extensive cover-up that hid the extent of the carnage. The New York Post reported that a top aid to Cuomo admitted hiding the numbers of nursing home deaths to avoid a Department of Justice investigation. Then, earlier this month, the New York Times published a bombshell report laying out the extent Cuomo and his staff went to hide the ramifications of the March order, rewriting a June report to keep out a staggering 9,000 nursing home deaths.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The Governor said the state liquor authority has suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules as public officials try to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images) Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

And just this week, Fox News reported that it was not just seniors who the governor had thrown to the wolves. Cuomo's administration also ordered homes for people with developmental disabilities to take in patients who had tested positive for COVID-19, an order Cuomo never rescinded. 552 developmentally disabled people died. And the state can't claim ignorance; they understood the susceptibility the disabled face, which is why those with developmental disabilities were among the first eligible to be vaccinated in the state.

The governor abandoned the state's most vulnerable citizens, those least able to advocate for themselves and most vulnerable to the virus. While schools and public buildings were closed in order to keep infections at bay, Cuomo was introducing the virus into the group homes of the most susceptible populations: the elderly and developmentally disabled. He oversaw a massacre of the old and the disabled, sending them back to group homes and nursing homes that were incubators for the deadly virus. Meanwhile, the taxpayer-funded U.S.N.S. Comfort, a massive, hugely expensively and much-lauded ship meant to relieve pressure from New York City's hospitals, sat empty in New York Harbor due to bureaucratic wrangling between the Navy and the City. Similarly, the Javits Center, prepared by FEMA to treat non-COVID patients, sat mostly empty due to logistical hurdles.

We must not forget that this happened on Cuomo's watch.

I, too, am horrified by the allegations of sexual harassment, especially the two allegations that involve forcible touching. The governor has created a toxic workplace that deserves to be investigated. But it's critical we keep in mind that while his alleged sexual offenses are dastardly, Cuomo's most wicked crimes are more than alleged forced sexual misconduct. His administration played Russian roulette with the most vulnerable lives placed in the state's care. And they lost.

There's no beating around the bush: This was de facto eugenics, wiping out the disabled and the elderly. And while we must criticize him for yelling at his employees, flirting with young female subordinates, and possibly inappropriately touching them, it is crucial that we not forget the thousands of lives lost due to his negligence. His sexual misconduct may indeed be cause for impeachment; but we cannot let it overshadow the loss of life he oversaw.

Impeach Governor Cuomo. But make sure you're impeaching him for the right thing. The "allegations of misconduct" that are serving as the basis for the impeachment inquiry must include the massacre he oversaw.

Bethany Mandel is a homeschooling mother of four and a widely published writer on politics, culture and Judaism. She is an editor at and a contributor to the Washington Examiner blog and magazine.

The views in this article are the writer's own.