“It’s the classic Andrew Cuomo,” de Blasio said Thursday. “Many people in New York State have received these phone calls.”
Mr Cuomo’s image was polished by a series of nationally televised press conferences in the early days of the pandemic, in which the governor mixed fair presentations with dad jokes and appearances from his three daughters, his mother and his brother, Chris Cuomo, the anchor of CNN. Last fall, even as a second wave of the virus began to swell in New York City and nationally, he published a memoir, offering “lessons in leadership” and sentimental dedication.
“Love wins,” he wrote in his conclusion. “Always.”
But in the wake of the nursing home scandal, that character got darker: On Saturday, Mr. Cuomo’s mood was ridiculed in a segment of “Saturday Night Live” in which his character, played by comedian Pete Davidson, sheepishly confessed to hiding where the deaths of nursing home residents took place and vowed revenge on Mr de Blasio, a frequent political enemy.
Other accusations have been more serious: In December, a former senior official at Mr. Cuomo’s economic development agency, Lindsey Boylan, accused Mr. Cuomo of promoting a “Toxic team environment.“
On Sunday, Ms Boylan was part of a growing chorus of people talking about Mr Cuomo, telling The Times he was inclined to “yell at people inside and outside of state government when he doesn’t get exactly what he wants.
Mr. Cuomo’s penchant for tough tactics dates back decades, to his apprenticeship as an advisor to his father, former Governor Mario M. Cuomo, whom he was known to fiercely defend. “I think he learned it from his father, who needed bare fists to fight the old machine poles,” said Michael Shnayerson, author of “The Contender,” a 2015 biography of young Mr. Cuomo.
State Senator Liz Krueger, an Upper Manhattan Democrat who wields influence in the Legislature as chair of the House Finance Committee, said she was never yelled at by the governor or his staff – for a reason.