Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) was brutally honest with Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday, clearly fed up with Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). For months the Cuomo administration has belittled well-meaning New Yorkers trying to get answers about the state's nursing home COVID-19 tragedy. Most recently, Gov. Cuomo and his senior adviser Rich Azzopardi insulted Democrat Assemblyman Ron Kim for demanding apologies and investigations into the nursing home COVID fatalities. He himself lost an uncle in a nursing home.
Instead of trying to work with Kim or at least show a little empathy, Azzopardi released a scathing statement about how Kim is trying to "deceive" New Yorkers and has created a "hostile" relationship with the administration. He and Gov. Cuomo also accused Kim of "pay-to-play" for accepting donations from nail salon owners.
The mayor has had it.
"Yeah, it's a sad thing to say, Mika, but that's classic Andrew Cuomo," de Blasio nodded. "A lot of people in New York state have received those phone calls. You know, the bullying is nothing new."
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on Governor Andrew Cuomo reportedly threatening a lawmaker over nursing home criticism:— The Recount (@therecount) February 18, 2021
“That’s classic Andrew Cuomo … The bullying is nothing new.” pic.twitter.com/N1GwDtDRRU
"I believe Ron Kim, and it's very, very sad," the mayor said. "No public servant, no person who's telling the truth should be treated that way."
He's heard the "belittling" from the Cuomo administration "many, many times."
And plenty of that has played out before our eyes. Last month, Gov. Cuomo threatened hospitals that didn't use their COVID vaccines. The mayor's office called that message unhelpful.
“Threatening to revoke the privilege of vaccination from the city’s public hospital system is punitive and unnecessary," a de Blasio spokesperson said.
The U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District of New York has opened an investigation into the Cuomo administration's handling of the pandemic.