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New Andrew Cuomo accuser Sherry Vill speaks out about allegation

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A woman described in detail Monday how Gov. Andrew Cuomo grabbed her face, “manhandled” her and forcibly kissed her while touring her flood-damaged home in 2017 — saying he did so in a “highly sexual manner.”

“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.

The alleged encounter occurred in May 2017, while Cuomo was touring Greece, NY, which had recently been ravaged by floods.

Vill, whose property 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 kiss me on the other cheek in what I felt was a highly sexual manner.”

Attorney Gloria Allred displays a photograph of Gov. Andrew Cuomo kissing Sherry Vill.
Gloria Allred

Cuomo tried to explain the inappropriate contact as a cultural norm.

“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 the kissing. I am Italian, and in my family, family members kiss. Strangers do not kiss.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo has now been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior by Sherry Vill and nine other women.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has now been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior by Sherry Vill and nine other women.
Matthew McDermott

On his way out, Cuomo “stopped, he turned to me and said, ‘You are beautiful,’” according to Vill.

“That made me feel even more uncomfortable,” said Vill. “I felt as though he was coming on to me in my own home.”

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 face again,” said Vill.

Vill noted that Cuomo is approximately 6 feet tall, while she stands only about 5 feet.

“He towered over me,” she said. “There was nothing I could do.”

Days after the interaction, a member of the governor’s staff left Vill a voicemail asking her if she would like to attend an upcoming event with the governor, Vill said.

She did not respond to the call.

Vill also later received a signed letter from the governor, sent along with two photographs of him shaking her hand inside the home.

“Look what the governor sent me in the mail…,” wrote Vill in a 2017 Facebook post of the package.

Following the press briefing, Allred and Vill will reach out to state Attorney General Letitia James to inform her that Vill is willing to cooperate with an investigation.

However, Allred said that at this time, she did not intend to reach out to the state Assembly about its own ongoing investigation, or file a civil suit against the governor.

Allred and Vill also chose to reserve judgment on whether Cuomo should resign as governor, saying that the investigations should first run their course.

Vill joins nine other women — most of them current or former Cuomo staffers — who have publicly accused the governor of sexual harassment or misconduct since late February.

They include two women — former staffer Lindsey Boylan and Anna Ruch — who allege that Cuomo kissed them without their consent, and a third who alleges that Cuomo reached under her blouse to grope her breast.

The allegation of the latter victim, a current staffer who has not been publicly identified, has been referred to Albany police.

While Cuomo has admitted to and apologized for inappropriate workplace remarks, he has strongly denied touching anyone inappropriately.

In doing so, he has adamantly refused calls to resign, even as dozens of Democratic lawmakers including both of New York’s US senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have taken up the cause.

While refusing to step down of his own volition, Cuomo faces one investigation organized by James, and another from the state Assembly as a prelude to impeachment proceedings.

Cuomo’s office has not responded to requests for comment on Monday’s newest allegations.

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NYPD releases video of gunman firing into group in the Bronx

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New video tweeted by the NYPD Sunday shows a gunman wildly firing down a Bronx street into a group of people in Fordham Manor, leaving two men wounded, cops said.

“WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know this guy?” the NYPD wrote on Twitter.

“On 6/25/21 at approx 11:10 PM, in front of 2710 Morris Ave in the Bronx, the suspect fired several rounds towards a group, striking a 26-year-old male and a 20-year-old. Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS.”

The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
NYPD
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
NYPD
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
NYPD

The 26-year-old was shot in the buttocks and the 20-year-old was shot in the leg, police said. Both were expected to survive.

The victims said they were standing with a group of friends when the “guy just came up and started shooting,” a police spokesman said.

No words were exchanged, video shows. 

There were no immediate arrests.

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FDA finds peeling paint, debris at US plant making J&J’s COVID vaccine

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A US plant that was making Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine must fix a long list of problems including peeling paint and unsanitary conditions and practices to resume operation, according to a highly critical report by the Food and Drug Administration.

Experts said addressing the issues raised in the scathing FDA inspection report could take months.

Neither J&J nor the FDA has said when they expect vaccine production to restart at the Baltimore plant owned by Emergent Biosolutions. Only two other plants are currently equipped to supply the world with the key drug substance for J&J’s vaccine.

“It may take many months to make these changes,” said Prashant Yadav, a global health care supply chain expert at the Center for Global Development. He described some of the issues raised by the FDA as “quite significant.”

No vaccine manufactured at the Emergent plant has been distributed for use in the United States. However, J&J said it will exercise its oversight authority to ensure that all of the FDA observations are addressed promptly and comprehensively.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on a pause in the US over a potential link to a blood clotting condition.
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The health care conglomerate has drawn scrutiny for months over its halting process to scale up production of a vaccine that is easier to handle and, by virtue of being a single shot, easier to use than other authorized vaccines.

Its use in the United States has been paused since last week as health officials study a possible link to a very rare but serious blood clot condition.

Emergent has been seeking regulatory authorization to make the J&J vaccine in the United States. It stopped production at the plant recently, saying the FDA had asked it to do so after an inspection.

J&J’s plant in Leiden, the Netherlands, is still producing doses for the world. It has another facility in India, which is currently curtailing exports of the shot as it struggles to vaccinate its own population.

Johnson & Johnson reiterated on Wednesday that it was working to establish a global supply chain in which 10 manufacturing sites would be involved in the production of its COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the Leiden plant.

The company has a US government-brokered agreement with rival drugmaker Merck, which is preparing to make doses of J&J’s vaccine.

Failure to train personnel

The FDA in its final 12-page inspection report said it had reviewed security camera footage in addition to an in-person site visit to the Emergent plant.

It found a failure to train personnel to avoid cross-contamination of COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which had also been produced at the site. The agency also cited staff carrying unsealed bags of medical waste in the facility, bringing it in contact with containers of material used in manufacturing.

The FDA reviewed security camera footage and visited the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore.
Getty Images

Earlier this week, the House launched an investigation into whether Emergent used its relationship with a Trump administration official to get a vaccine manufacturing contract despite a record of not delivering on contracts.

Emergent said in a statement that it is working with the FDA and J&J to quickly resolve the issues outlined in the report.

Production of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the United States, was previously stopped at the Emergent plant after ingredients from that shot contaminated a batch of J&J vaccine, ruining millions of doses.

The FDA also noted that Emergent did not produce adequate reports showing that the vaccines it was producing met quality standards.

The inspection, carried out between April 12 and April 20, also found the building not of suitable size or design to facilitate cleaning, maintenance or proper operations.

J&J said it was redoubling its efforts to get authorization for the facility as quickly as possible.

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One dead after pair of fires breaks out in Manhattan

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One person was killed and several others were injured in a pair of Manhattan fires Wednesday morning, officials said.

The first blaze erupted in Midtown around 8:15 a.m. inside a DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse at 213 W. 34th St., where an escalator became fully engulfed in flames — sending smoke billowing into the first and second floor and the interconnected 40-story hotel building, fire officials said.

It was not immediately clear which hotel it was.

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries putting out the blaze.

“The fire went out, but we have a smoke condition that we’re trying to alleviate,” FDNY Battalion Chief John Porretto said at the scene. “Units are going to remain on scene until all the smoke alleviates.”

The fire marshal will determine the causes of the fire.

A second blaze broke out 15 minutes later on the Upper East Side at 1576 2nd Ave., officials said.

A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th Street in Manhattan that left one dead
A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th St. in Manhattan left one dead.
NYFD

One man died in the fire and a second man was in serious condition at Lenox Hill Hospital, police said.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries battling the blaze and was taken to Cornell Hospital, fire officials said.

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