By Hellen Zaboulani
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, sent a staff-wide email to urge administration employees to continue doing their jobs during this “beyond challenging” time. The message managed to completely ignore the sexual misconduct allegations and the nursing home scandal plaguing the administration.
As reported by the NY Post, in her email sent on Sunday, DeRosa, who had made the bombshell admission that Cuomo’s administration had intentionally withheld the full death toll of COVID-19 nursing home fatalities in NY, merely thanked her subordinates. “This past year has been beyond challenging,” DeRosa wrote, as we approach the first year anniversary of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. “There are no words for the extreme and daunting crisis that our world faced. But together, we navigated a once-in-a-century pandemic to the absolute best of our ability with one purpose held tight: to deliver for the people of New York.” She completely failed to address any of the matters probably at the forefront of most minds, as the administration is roiling from multiple probes. The latest news from the sexual harassment allegation, is that Attorney General Letitia James will appoint an independent delegate to probe the accusations.
The allegations stem from two former staffers— Lindsey Boylan, who claims Cuomo forced an unwanted kiss onto her lips, and Charlotte Bennett, who said the exchanges convinced her that the third term governor “wanted to sleep with” her. A former Albany journalist, Lindsay Nielsen, has also come forward saying the “personal attacks” she endured by Cuomo’s administration led her to quit her job. In a formal apology on Sunday, Cuomo had minimized the allegations saying that he made “jokes” and did “tease people in what I think is a good natured way,” but they were “misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation”. “To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry,” he said.
The staff email did not address any of this. It was a cheery message, where DeRosa praised the staff and asked them to keep it up. “Each day, you do your jobs with extraordinary dedication, skill, talent and relentless passion to help New Yorkers navigate this crisis,” she wrote. “You should be extremely proud of what you have accomplished.”
“I ask you to keep doing exactly that,” she continued. “Execute with talent and endless strength and vision … Thank you for your public service. Thank you for your continued herculean effort.”