Cuomo gets vaccinated at Harlem pop-up clinic, former Rep. Charlie Rangel defends gov.
Gov. Cuomo, facing mounting calls for his resignation and mounting sexual harassment allegations, flashed a thumbs-up Wednesday after getting vaccinated against COVID and receiving glowing praise from former Rep. Charlie Rangel.
The governor got a single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a pop-up clinic at Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem, where Rangel and others rallied around the embattled governor.
“When people start piling up on you… you go to your family and you go to your friends because you know that they are going to be with you,” the 90-year-old retired lawmaker said. “Due process and hearing is basically what we believe in in this country.”
Rangel, at times raising his cane in emphasis, applauded Assemblywoman Inez Dickens (D-Harlem) for supporting the governor and summarized a statement she issued that said “back off until you’ve got some facts.”
Multiple women have made allegations of sexual harassment or unwanted advances against Cuomo, leading to an independent review being conducted by Attorney General James’ office and an impeachment investigation in the Assembly.
Many of Cuomo’s own Democrats have questioned whether he can continue to lead the state through the remainder of the COVID crisis and ongoing budget negotiations as he faces several scandals at once.
The governor is also facing criticism and a federal probe over the state’s handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic and questions about the structural integrity of the replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge.
The Harlem appearance, which was closed to press and had the air of a campaign event, included several Black clergy members and African-American leaders.
Hazel Dukes, the president of the New York chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, repeatedly referred to Cuomo as her son and even displayed a photo of his father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo, at one point.
“Thank you, governor, for all you have done. We stand with you,” she said after the group wished her a Happy Birthday.
As Cuomo, 63, rolled up his sleeve to receive his dose some in the crowd shouted “don’t cry.”
The governor became eligible under state rules last week when the threshold was lowered from 65 to 60 for older residents.
While the harassment and nursing home scandals have swirled, Cuomo has made several appearances at state-run mass vaccination sites as he encourages minorities and communities hardest hit by the pandemic to get immunized.
“The communities that suffered the most should be first on the vaccine line,” he said. “They all work, they’re all safe. Don’t try to pick one over the other. Take whatever vaccine you can get.”