Cuomo Threatened to Destroy NY Assemblyman Over Nursing Homes Scandal
February 18, 2021
“Gov. Cuomo called me directly on Thursday to threaten my career if I did not cover up for Melissa[DeRosa] and what she said. He tried to pressure me to issue a statement, and it was a very traumatizing experience,” Assemblyman Ron Kim said. Cuomo proceeded to tell Kim that “we’re in this business together and we don’t cross certain lines and he said I hadn’t seen his wrath and that he can destroy me,” Kim told CNN.
Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim received this call on his smartphone from the governor last week as he was bathing his children at home.
Cuomo’s camp currently denies the governor ever threatened to destroy Kim.
Melissa DeRosa is a top aide to Gov. Cuomo who came under fire last week after she told state lawmakers in a private virtual meeting that the state had delayed sharing with the legislature the full scope of the Covid-related death toll of New York’s nursing home residents because of concerns about a potential federal investigation by the Department of Justice, according to CNN.
More than 15,000 New Yorkers in care homes have died since the start of the pandemic, according to the BBC. However, until late last month, the state’s health department had only logged just over 8,500 fatalities. A clear cover-up.
“No man has ever spoken to me like that in my entire life,” Kim explained about his phone call with Cuomo. “At some point he tried to humiliate me, asking: ‘Are you a lawyer? I didn’t think so. You’re not a lawyer.’ It almost felt like in retrospect he was trying to bait me and anger me and say something inappropriate. I’m glad I didn’t,” Kim continued.
Kim’s wife told CNN that she had overheard parts of Kim’s phone call with Cuomo last week, and described the governor as “loud” and “angry.” She said she heard Cuomo say, “Who do you think you are?” as well as the words, “my wrath,” and that immediately after the phone call, her husband told her: “The governor threatened to destroy my life.”
Cuomo’s efforts to reach Kim appeared to continue through the weekend. Kim said he received multiple calls from a “No Caller ID” number, followed by messages from Cuomo aides saying that the governor would like to speak with him again. Kim said he did not return the phone calls. He has since hired a lawyer, according to CNN.
“The Governor has three witnesses to the conversation. The operable words were to the effect of, ‘I am from Queens, too, and people still expect honor and integrity in politics,'” said Cuomo’s senior advisor, Rich Azzopardi.
Cuomo’s camp further stated that Mr. Kim is lying and has been lying about everything, 100%.