- Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim of Queens called out Gov. Andrew Cuomo on “The View” Friday.
- “Cuomo is an abuser,” Kim said, recalling how he’s faced Cuomo’s wrath over the nursing home scandal.
- Kim added that a Cuomo staffer once called women lawmakers “f—ing idiots,” and was bleeped out.
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Ron Kim, a Democratic assemblyman from Queens, issued a sharp rebuke of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during an appearance on ABC’s “The View” on Friday morning.
“Cuomo is an abuser,” Kim said right off the bat. “He has abused his powers and abusers are cowards.”
Kim has been an outspoken critic of the Cuomo administration amid an unfurling scandal surrounding the governor’s office intentionally withholding data on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes because of political concerns.
The assemblyman has also called for Cuomo’s emergency powers to be rolled back by the state legislature, which voted to grant him substantial executive authority at the outset of the pandemic.
“He’s worse than TJ Ducklo,” Kim added, referencing the former Biden White House deputy press secretary who resigned after getting caught making profane and misogynistic remarks to a Politico reporter.
—The Recount (@therecount) February 19, 2021
Kim also recalled an incident when Cuomo’s senior adviser Rich Azzzopardi called a group of women lawmakers “f—ing idiots.” That part of the interview was bleeped out.
Once a relatively low-profile member of New York’s 150-seat Assembly, Kim has received substantial media attention in recent days for calling out the Cuomo administration after the governor’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, explained why the administration was sitting on the nursing home death numbers in a leaked call.
DeRosa attributed the lack of transparency on the data to political pressure from the Trump administration.
“And basically, we froze, because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice or what we give to you guys, what we start saying was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” she said on the call, which was first reported by The New York Post.
Kim said that while the Trump administration deserves blame for a lack of federal action on the pandemic, the Cuomo administration kept punting on delivering “real-time data” to the legislature on where and how nursing home patients were succumbing to the virus.
“There’s no communication between the families, the nursing home directors, the Department of Health … And then many months later I realized that there was a massive cover-up of the data,” Kim said.
Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on Kim’s comments.
The governor has a reputation among many New York political insiders as a bully and grudge-holder, with some of them going on the record recently to recount their experiences for a Politico story published Friday, just a few hours before Kim went on “The View.”
One New York congressman told Politico about a late night phone call he received from Cuomo during which the governor berated him for 45 minutes on the Trump tax cut bill.
“I’ve never seen something like it,” Republican Rep. Tom Reed told Politico. “I’ve heard about the wrath and his anger, and that was the one time where I received it personally.”
Nick Langworthy, who chairs the New York Republican Party, echoed the sentiment to reporters in Albany on Thursday, per Politico.
“This is a feature of Andrew Cuomo, this is not a bug,” he said. “How many times have you in the media received that bullying, screaming phone call from the governor or one of his minions?”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio leveled similar accusations on Thursday during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he backed Kim after the assemblyman spoke about receiving a threatening phone call from Cuomo over the past weekend.
“The bullying is nothing new,” de Blasio said.
“No public servant, no person who’s telling the truth should be treated that way,” he went on to say. “But yeah – the threats, the belittling, the demand that someone change their statement right that moment – many, many times I’ve heard that, and I know a lot of other people in this state have heard that.”