“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement on Feb. 28, after The New York Times published an account of one accuser, Charlotte Bennett. “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.
At the same time, his administration is also being investigated by federal prosecutors for its handling of nursing homes during the pandemic. Several of Mr. Cuomo’s top aides, including his most senior adviser, Melissa DeRosa, directed the state’s Health Department to remove figures on residents’ deaths from a report on nursing homes, a Times investigation found.
In February, the Times reported that at least nine top public health officials in the state Health Department had resigned or retired during the pandemic as aides acted without their input or expertise.
Mr. Cuomo had made it clear, in public and private comments, that he believed state public health officials had no understanding of how to conduct a large-scale operation like vaccinations, and that his close aides, who like Mr. Schwartz did not have public health experience, could do a better job.
Days after the nursing homes report appeared in early July, Mr. Cuomo discussed writing a book about his pandemic leadership for the first time. The book became a best seller after its release in October, but last week his publisher said it would no longer be promoting the title and would not issue it in paperback because of the nursing home investigation.
Mr. Cuomo has apologized for his actions and comments with women, which he suggested had been misinterpreted. He has urged patience while the investigations are carried out.
On Friday, he reiterated that he had no intention of resigning and lashed out at lawmakers, who by the end of the day included Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, for urging him to step aside “without knowing any facts and substance.”
That same day, Mr. Cuomo was photographed outside the governor’s mansion in Albany, where he has grown increasingly isolated, a blanket thrown over his shoulders, a cellphone pressed to his ear.