Patterico's Pontifications


One More Accuser: Woman Alleges Gov. Cuomo Forcibly Kissed Her In Her Home

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:02 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I think we’ve hit double-digits now. Another Cuomo accuser alleges that the governor kissed her without consent in 2017 while touring her flood-damaged home:

“The whole thing was so strange and inappropriate and still makes me nervous and afraid because of his power and position,” said Sherry Vill, a 55-year-old married mother of three, as she spoke out in an afternoon briefing alongside lawyer Gloria Allred. “I am still afraid of him, but I am no longer willing to remain silent.”

Vill, whose house was among those damaged, invited Cuomo into her home and expressed dismay at its condition.

“That’s when the governor looked at me, approached me, took my hand and pulled me to him,” Vill said. “He leaned down over me and kissed my cheek. I was holding my small dog in my arms and I thought he was going to pet my dog. But instead he went to squeeze between the dog and mine and kiss me on the other cheek in what I felt was a highly sexual manner.”

According to Vill, Gov. Cuomo brushed off the accusations by saying it’s just what Italians do:

“He said, ‘That’s what Italians do, kiss both cheeks,’” recalled Vill.

“I felt shocked and didn’t understand what had just happened,” said Vill. “But I knew I felt embarrassed and weird about his kissing me. I am Italian, and in my family, family members kiss. Strangers do not kiss, especially upon meeting someone for the first time.”

Vill, who is being represented by Gloria Allred, also said that Cuomo told her she was “beautiful,” but didn’t stop there:

Cuomo again allegedly grabbed Vill’s face and kissed her on the cheek outside the home — in front of Vill’s son, who was recording the governor’s visit and caught an image of the contact, displayed at the virtual briefing.

“I felt like I was being manhandled, especially because he was holding my face and he was kissing my cheek again,” said Vill. “The way he looked at me and his body language made me very uncomfortable. I felt he was acting in a highly flirtatious and inappropriate manner, especially in front of my family and neighbors.”

Here is the photo Vill’s son captured of the creepy and completely inappropriate encounter:
gov. cuomo

According to reports, Allred and Vill have not reached out to Cuomo’s office about the allegations. Per Allred, they will be getting in touch with the attorney general’s office which is conducting an investigation into claims made against the governor. A lawsuit has not yet been filed.

Despite calls to resign by New York’s delegation to the House of Representatives, Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand, and Mayor Blasio, Cuomo is staying put – at least for now. That could very well have to do with the fact that he is still receiving enough support from state Democrats:

…nearly half of voters (49 percent) in New York say that he should not resign while 43 percent say he should resign, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh- pea-ack) University poll of registered voters in New York State. The poll was conducted from March 16th – 17th. In a March 4th survey, voters said 55 – 40 percent he should not resign.

Today, Democrats say 67 – 23 percent he should not resign, 49 percent of independents say Cuomo should not resign with 42 percent saying he should resign, and Republicans say 72 – 26 percent he should resign.

In a separate question, voters were asked about the positions elected officials have taken about whether or not Governor Cuomo should step down. Just over 1 in 5 voters (22 percent) say they agree more with elected officials calling on Governor Cuomo to resign immediately. About three-quarters of voters (74 percent) say they agree more with elected officials saying they will wait until the New York Attorney General’s independent investigation is completed before they decide whether or not to call for Governor Cuomo to resign.

If you’re keeping track, there are now three ongoing investigations into the Cuomo administration.


Dr. Birx: Concerns About Trump’s Reaction Resulted in Restrained Messaging About Covid Risks

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:58 am

[guest post by Dana]

In a CNN special about COVID-19, top health officials talk openly with Dr. Sanjay Gupta about the pandemic and their experiences as medical professionals during the past year. Here is a devastating statement from Dr. Deborah Birx about the massive death toll in the US:

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator under Trump, said the majority of those deaths could have been prevented.

“I look at it this way — the first time we have an excuse. There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge,” Birx said. “All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.”

In another segment of the interview, Dr. Birx, who joined the White House coronavirus task force to counter the administration’s efforts to play down the risk of Covid-19, was asked whether she felt Trump had threatened her to keep quiet about how widespread the virus was:

Birx was not able to do quite as much as she had hoped. After speaking out in August about the coronavirus pandemic being “extraordinarily widespread” across both rural and urban communities in the US, Birx received a call from former President Trump, after which she says she was blocked from speaking about the pandemic nationally.

“I got called by the President. It was very uncomfortable, very direct and very difficult to hear,” Birx said.

Asked if President Trump threatened her, Birx said “I would say it was a very uncomfortable conversation.”

Birx said she took her public warnings about the pandemic to a local level.

She said she would speak frankly “with regional and local press and governors and mayors — and be very clear about mask mandates and closing bars and severely restricting indoor dining and all of these elements that I was never allowed to say nationally.

Asked if she was being censored, Birx said “Clearly someone was blocking me from doing it. My understanding is I could not be national because the President might see it.”

She added “He felt very strongly that I misrepresented the pandemic in the United States, that I made it out to be much worse than it is. I feel like I didn’t even make it out as bad as it was.”

It’s a bit hard to square Dr. Birx today with Dr. Birx one year ago when she just couldn’t say enough about Trump and his efforts in the pandemic fight:

“He’s been so attentive to the scientific literature and the details and the data. I think his ability to analyze and integrate data that comes out of his long history in business has really been a real benefit during these discussions about medical issues.

Was it her worst decision to accept a position under the Trump administration in the first place? Would she have had more of a voice working outside of the White House and influence decisions that could have ultimately helped save more American lives? Obviously, Trump would have fired Dr. Birx had she openly defied his efforts to downplay the virus. But she would have walked out with her integrity fully intact. It’s been clear that those in prominent and influential positions in the Trump administration who had daily contact with the former president would eventually be compelled to make a decision about whether they were willing to cross the line of complicity or walk away:

She, like many of us, had no idea how badly his administration would distort, ignore and deny science and the truth during the pandemic. Although she said she took the job out of a sense of obligation (“That’s what a civil servant is supposed to do,” she said a year later), Birx became inextricably tied to the harmful decisions of her negligent, disastrously ignorant boss.

As of today, the U.S. COVID-19 death toll stands at 549,000.


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