New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is calling for another investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) administration following reports of the governor’s “vaccine czar” making phone calls to local officials to gauge their loyalty to the governor.
“What we’ve heard is about the governor and his team, trying to link vaccine supply to political support, that is the definition of corruption. It is disgusting. It is dangerous,” de Blasio said on Monday, calling for a “full investigation” in addition to the ongoing investigation into the mounting claims of sexual harassment and assault lodged against the embattled governor.
“There are lives on the line, and it cannot be tolerated. There needs to be now a full investigation of that – on top of the investigation of the nursing home scandal, the investigation of the sexual harassment and molestation,” the Democrat mayor said.
“There needs to be an investigation of why a senior official in the governor’s office clearly tried to link vaccine supply to political support, and I’ll tell you something. He better not call me because I’ll tell him what he can do with that,” he quipped, warning that his office will expose any political attempts of the Cuomo administration to reduce vaccine supply in connection to supporting the governor amid his growing scandals.
“No, it’s unacceptable, and we are not going to stand for it. And if we see any effort to reduce the vaccine supply to New York City as political retribution we will bring it right out in the open,” de Blasio said.
The mayor’s remarks follow reports of Larry Schwartz, Cuomo’s vaccine czar, calling country officials and inquiring on their support of the governor.
“At best, it was inappropriate,” one official told the Washington Post. “At worst, it was clearly over the ethical line.”
Schwartz admitted to calling county officials but said he did not do so in an official capacity as the vaccine czar. In a statement to the Post, Schwartz said he
…did have conversations with a number of County Executives from across the State to ascertain if they were maintaining their public position that there is an ongoing investigation by the State Attorney General and that we should wait for the findings of that investigation before drawing any conclusions.
De Blasio is among Democrat New Yorkers who have called on Cuomo to resign as he continues to face fallout from his administration’s nursing home coverup, as well as accusations of sexual harassment and assault.
During a Sunday appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation, the Democrat mayor predicted that an impeachment proceeding will begin.
“And I think he will be impeached, and perhaps right before that, he’ll decide to resign. That’s probably the most likely outcome right now,” he said, repeating his call for Cuomo to resign “right now” because “he’s holding up our effort to fight COVID.”
“He’s literally in the way of us saving lives right now,” de Blasio added.