The political war between the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, and the governor of the state Andrew Cuomo is increasing. Both have decided to attack each other in the midst of a crisis within the Democratic Party due to the recent scandals surrounding Cuomo.
On Wednesday, during a press conference, the governor admitted to feeling “ashamed” after the sexual harassment allegations against him, however, he used his meeting with the media to attack the management of his party mate, de Blasio.
Cuomo said he would not resign from office and to shield himself he pointed out that there is much work to be done such as “saving New York City.”
“There’s also New York City, which is in a very precarious situation. It’s teetering, to use a word. Crime is up, homelessness is up, a lot of people have left New York City,” Cuomo said.
“We have to get New York City back up and running and safe again and viable again, and we have to do it quickly,” he continued.
The governor concluded by saying that the city “will have a new mayor that will be selected basically in June” and “that job,” of rescuing New York City, “has to begin.”
Reactions from City Hall were not long in coming, the Mayor’s Office responded to the governor’s statements:
“Governor Cuomo insulted the people of New York City today in a pathetic distraction from their problems. If New York City is supposedly ‘reeling,’ why is Andrew Cuomo proposing budget cuts to New York City public hospitals during a pandemic?” said de Blasio spokesman Bill Neidhart.
Neidhart noted that Cuomo has created a self-inflicted “crisis of confidence” over the scandals and may have to resign.
But this is not the first time that attacks and accusations have arisen between the two Democratic officials. On February 19, Cuomo lectured Democratic mayoral hopefuls, while de Blasio called him out on his distribution of vaccines and his “bullying behavior.”
The mayor has also taken the opportunity to weigh in and criticize the governor following the allegations of sexual harassment, calling Cuomo’s questionable behavior “grotesque,” “perverse” and “frightening.”
Wrong moves on both sides
When de Blasio first called for a complete shutdown in New York City, Cuomo immediately rejected the idea. The governor also criticized the mayor’s order to permanently shut down in-person school sessions.
It is worth noting that experts around the world have warned that school closures have serious long-term consequences; while several studies reveal that total lockdowns and closures do not prevent or reduce cases of COVID-19 infection.
A report published in The Lancet says that the charity Save the Children predicted that, by the end of 2020, half a million more children worldwide would be forced into marriage and a million more girls would become pregnant as an indirect result of COVID-19.
“The cost of school closures, in terms of lost education, potential exposure to abuse and, in some countries, the premature end of schooling in favor of work or marriage could have devastating social impacts that will blight a generation of children,” it says.
What’s behind the de Blasio – Cuomo brawl?
The friction between the two Democratic officials dates back to 2015 when the mayor was beginning to emerge as a national leader among the party, while Cuomo was not improving in the polls.
Six years later, the mayor could be weighing the possibility of running for governor of New York, especially after Cuomo’s popularity is in free fall following the constant scandals surrounding him.
When asked about the possibility of running for the state’s top office, de Blasio responded, “The people of the state of New York will look at everything and make their judgments in due course,” he said. “I have not yet made any plans for my next steps. I will figure it out at some point.”