Besieged governor holds another closed-to-the-press event in Manhattan as budget remains late

Embattled Governor Andrew Cuomo waxed poetic about the struggles of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday at Manhattan’s Javits Center in yet another closed-press speaking engagement.

Meanwhile, the state budget became six days late despite a supposed agreement between the legislature and the executive chamber. The governor made his remarks without taking questions from members of the media, who were again excluded from his event in what has now become the norm for Cuomo, who won an International Emmy for his daily press briefings during the height of the pandemic a year ago.

Cuomo focused his attention on April 6 on the creation of a commission for a memorial to the frontline workers who died caring for the sick as well as keeping basic services up and running.

“We’re going to honor those essential workers and we’re going to build a memorial to those essential workers. The Commission, we announced today is going to be charged with just finding a location and designing a Memorial. The memorial says to the essential workers, ‘Thank you,'” Cuomo said.

On Monday, Governor Cuomo attributed the tardiness of the passage of a state budget to COVID-19 limitations such as the need for virtual meetings. He also stressed the importance of the budget as a recovery plan that would set the course for the future of the state for likely the next decade.

He wrote off the exclusion of press in his appearances to space limitations in venues and issued the same excuse Tuesday, despite the Javits Center being a location that has been modified for the safe accommodation of many people first as a hospital at the height of the COVID-19 crisis last spring, then a mass vaccination site today.

Cuomo has made his availability scarcer in recent months since Attorney General Letitia James revealed damning findings that stat under recorded COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by up to 50% — and an array of bombshell sexual misconduct allegations from former and current staffers.

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