NY governor Cuomo tells nurse 'you make that gown look good' during live Covid test

Clip of Cuomo telling doctor ‘you make that gown look good’ during Covid test resurfaces amid scandal

At least nine senior New York state health department officials have left their jobs in recent months, one being doctor who swabbed Mr Cuomo

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Wednesday 03 March 2021 16:09
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A clip of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo telling a female doctor "you make that gown look good" as he got a Covid-test last spring during a press conference has resurfaced as Mr Cuomo's inappropriate behaviour around women has many calling for his resignation.

Mr Cuomo was getting tested by Dr Elizabeth Dufort on 17 May last year, commenting on her appearance as she was about to swab his nose as the Governor was trying to encourage New Yorkers to get tested during a time that the state became one of the epicentres in the early days of the pandemic.

At least nine senior New York state health department officials have left their jobs in recent months, Dr Dufort being among them. The New York Times reported last month that the officials left after Mr Cuomo "all but declared war on his own public health bureaucracy".

Three women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Mr Cuomo. Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to Mr Cuomo was the first to come out with her allegations that he commented on her appearance in an inappropriate way, kissed her without consent, and suggested that they play strip poker.

Another former aide, Charlotte Bennett, said Mr Cuomo asked her about her sex life and if she would be interested in a relationship with an older man.

Anna Ruch then told The New York Times that during a wedding reception in 2019, Mr Cuomo has loudly asked to kiss her, had put his hand on her lower back, and grabbed her cheeks.

Read more: Republican goes on Fox to complain about ‘big media’ not reporting Cuomo story broken by NYT

Another clip, this time from 2016, recently resurfaced in the light of these allegations which shows Mr Cuomo tell a local news reporter "I want to see you eat the whole sausage" during the state fair that year.

Mr Cuomo hasn't answered questions since 19 February, avoiding the public spotlight after going on TV every day last spring to update reporters and the public on the latest pandemic news.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement on 28 February: "We will hire a law firm, deputize them as attorneys of our office, and oversee a rigorous and independent investigation," of the allegations against Mr Cuomo.

Mr Cuomo is also facing mounting criticism for withholding some figures on the number of deaths in nursing homes in his state during the pandemic. He is being investigated by the FBI and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.

State lawmakers in New York agreed Tuesday to remove pandemic-related emergency powers from Mr Cuomo, possibly by the end of this week, The New York Post reported.

Mr Cuomo said in a statement on 28 February: "I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm. I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often also personal friends.

"At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way. I do it in public and in private."

He added: "I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.

"To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to."

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