De Blasio reacts to Cuomo harassment allegations, calls for independent investigation
Bryan Llenas reports from the site of a rally to push for accountability in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's handling of COVID-19 nursing home deaths.
When asked about the allegations during a media availability Thursday morning, de Blasio was emphatic about what he believes needs to take place following the allegations, which he characterized as "disturbing" and deserving of action.
"When a woman comes forward with these kinds of very specific allegations we have to take them seriously. We need a full and independent investigation," de Blasio said.
The mayor emphasized the word "independent," stressing that the investigation be conducted "by some individual or entity that is not compromised, is not something that is dominated by the governor's office, but an independent investigation."
Boylan and Cuomo. (Getty Images) (Getty images)
Boylan said that when she worked in Cuomo's administration he made inappropriate sexual comments to her on multiple occasions – including one suggestion that they play strip poker during a flight in 2017 – and once kissed her on the lips in his New York City office.
"This kind of behavior, if true, is unacceptable in any public servant – in anybody," de Blasio added. "So we got to get the truth about this."
Cuomo's office has denied the allegations.
De Blasio later also stressed the need to look into what happened with the thousands of New York nursing home residents who died of COVID-19 following a directive from Cuomo that prohibited facilities from turning away residents based solely on a positive test. Cuomo's administration also delayed releasing statistics of how many nursing home residents died of COVID-19, initially only reporting those who died in the facilities while omitting those who died after being transported to hospitals.
"We need a full investigation, independent investigation of what happened with the nursing homes, what happened with the thousands of people who died," de Blasio said.
"Their families have not gotten answers," he continued. "We don't understand if truth was told or not. We know information was not given on a timely basis, we know mistakes were made, we know that we have not had an accounting that tells us how to saves lives going forward, and change the approach to nursing homes."