Connect with us

US

Tensions grow among lawmakers of color over Gov. Cuomo’s fate

Published

on

[ad_1]

Tensions are bubbling in Albany among lawmakers of color over just what to do with Gov. Cuomo.

On the one side are younger, more progressive members demanding the governor’s resignation. They have a powerful ally in Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. On the other side are establishment, Cuomo-friendly lawmakers who have urged holding off until a probe by Attorney General Letitia James is complete.

That rift was on full display earlier this month during a weekly Zoom conference call of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus. Legislative leaders Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie do not generally attend the rank-and-file Monday meetings.

During the March 8 meeting shortly after Stewart-Cousins publicly called on Cuomo to resign, the group’s first vice chairwoman, Brooklyn Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, told members that the state Senate boss was only pushing the resignation as a way to advance her own career, according to two lawmakers familiar with the accusation.

“I was offended and I thought it was a highly inappropriate thing to say because that plays right into the governor’s claim that it’s all politically motivated,” one attendee told The Post.

State Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins
State Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins
Tamara Beckwith/ NYPOST

Yet Walker’s remark generated no pushback from the 20 to 40 lawmakers in attendance that day, said the attendee.

Walker did not deny making the accusation.

“Andrea Stewart-Cousins has had a very important career as the first African American woman to lead the New York State Senate,” Walker’s office told The Post. “I believe that Tish James and the Judiciary Committee must complete their investigation before any decisions can be made.”

Assembly Speaker Heastie has attempted to play both sides of the fence, originally echoing the “sentiment” of Stewart-Cousins’ resignation plea and calling on Cuomo “to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York.” Yet his Assembly impeachment probe has been mired by accusations that it is unfairly tilted in Cuomo’s favor. He’s been accused of deliberately dragging out the probe, and the selection of Davis Polk & Wardwell, a law firm with close ties to Cuomo, to oversee the inquiry, has also raised eyebrows.

Walker, meanwhile, is close to James, who has been described as her political mentor. Walker served as treasurer to James’ 2013 campaign for public advocate and James returned the favor by endorsing Walker for her 2015 run for the Assembly. James is godmother to Walker’s daughter, according to City and State.

Walker also signed a letter along with 21 other lawmakers urging people to wait until the completion of James’ investigation. The signees included prominent Black legislators Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, Vivian E. Cook and Kimberly Jean-Pierre, among others.

One state senator told The Post that most of the Democrats in the chamber already see Cuomo as dead in the water, and lawmakers are now competing to fill the coming power void in Albany.

James, 62, and Stewart-Cousins, 70, are both eyeing higher office and the Senate leader has also been making moves to undermine James, said one Senate insider.

In her March 7 call for Cuomo’s resignation, Stewart-Cousins raised “questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project.” This was a reference to an Albany Times-Union investigation which broke that same day revealing a coverup of deficiencies within the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. James’ office’s initial probe of the matter made “an effort to arguably downplay the severity of the allegations, including any potential structural threat to the bridge,” the paper reported.

Latrice Walker, NY State Assemblywoman, 55th District, left, with Mark O'Luck, CEO Spectrum Personal Communications Corp. on Feb. 16, 2019.
Latrice Walker, NY State Assemblywoman, 55th District, left, with Mark O’Luck, CEO Spectrum Personal Communications Corp. on Feb. 16, 2019.
Angel Chevrestt

“Andrea was in a conversation with a labor leader where she said that she believes she has a more progressive record than Letitia James, that she has never caved to the governor in the way Tish has and that she should be the first Black female governor,” said the same insider.

One Democratic senator said all their members were “being placed in very awkward positions” and that members “have to be very careful what we say” when the topic of Cuomo comes up.

Publicly, James and Stewart-Cousins have been chummy, basking in their respective accomplishments as the first Black women to serve in their current roles.

“Attorney General Tish James is an unyielding public servant and proven champion of justice. It’s not surprising, but still pathetic, that there are those who attempt to push an offensive narrative to pit powerful women against one another for their own agenda and to mask their sad insecurities,” Stewart-Cousins told The Post.

In a statement from her office, James said she had “the utmost respect” for Stewart-Cousins and that she “look[ed] forward to continuing their work together for years to come.”

“You’re always going to have competition among political people when there is an opening — and governor jobs don’t open that often,” said Democratic political consultant Hank Sheinkopf. “They all smile in public but the knife is always poised in hand.”



[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

US

NYPD releases video of gunman firing into group in the Bronx

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

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.

Source link



[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

US

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

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

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.
Getty Images

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.

[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

US

One dead after pair of fires breaks out in Manhattan

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

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.

[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending