Who is Ron Kim? NY assemblyman claims Andrew Cuomo threatened 'to destroy him' over Covid-19 deaths cover-up
Cuomo’s senior adviser Rich Azzopardi issued a statement claiming, 'Kim's assertion that the governor said he would destroy him' is false'
New York governor Andrew Cuomo has been accused of allegedly “threatening” the Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim over a phone call last week with connection to the Covid-19 nursing home scandal. Kim has alleged that the governor called him on Thursday, February 11, and “tried to pressure” him tissue a positive statement about Covid-19 deaths cover-up. Kim has claimed that Cuomo allegedly said to him he “hadn’t seen his wrath and anger before.”
Cuomo’s top aide DeRosa came under fire last week after she reportedly told lawmakers in a private virtual meeting that the state has delayed sharing the full scope of coronavirus relate death toll in New York’s nursing home with the legislature because of “concerns about a potential investigation by the Department of Justice”. Kim, who was also on the call, reportedly asked Cuomo to apologize to families of those who died in assisted living facilities, according to New York Times reports. The assemblyman has now claimed that he received the call from Cuomo following his statement to the publication.
Who is Ron Tim?
Ron Tim served in the New York State Assembly representing the 40th district. He was the first Korean American to be erected in New York State in 2012. His family immigrated to Queens when he was only seven. He acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton College and finished his Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College. During his time in office, KIm has supported bills related to education issues, services for seniors, tax relief among others.
He’s currently the chairperson on the Committee on Aging and also sits on the Education Committee. the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee; Governmental Operations Committee; and Housing Committee. He has worked with state legislators to pass bills expanding funding and loans for small businesses. He was one of the few New York elected democrats to question Cuomo’s handling of COVID-19 infections in nursing homes.
Talking about the alleged conversation with Cuomo, Kim said, “Gov. Cuomo called me directly on Thursday to threaten my career if I did not cover up for Melissa [DeRosa] and what she said. He tried to pressure me to issue a statement, and it was a very traumatizing experience”
He further revealed that Cuomo said to him, “Are you a lawyer? I didn't think so. You're not a lawyer.” Kim’s wife reportedly told CNN that she overheard the Cuomo when he was speaking with her husband and described the governor as “loud” and “angry”. She said she heard Cumo tell Kim, “Who do you think you are?"
Cuomo and Kim’s hostility dates back to 2015
Cuomo said Kim’s hostility with him began after a bill in 2015 to reform nail salons was proposed by the governor, which the latter initially backed from, but later opposed. The law Kim passed created a trainee nail specialist program and modification of licensing requirements. However, Cumo went on to unilateral implement other requirements, which were not part of the new law. Kim spoke against the new mandates and eventually became the primary sponsor of a bill to relieve small business owners of financial and economic burdens.
Andrew Cuomo’s senior adviser claims Kim’s accusations are “false”
Andrew Cuomo’s senior adviser Rich Azzopardi issued a statement on Wednesday, February 17, claiming that "Kim's assertion that the governor said he would destroy him' is false."
The statement also reads, “Mr. Kim is lying about his conversation with Governor Cuomo Thursday night. I know because I was one of three other people in the room when the phone call occurred. At no time did anyone threaten to ‘destroy’ anyone with their ‘wrath’ nor enrage in a ‘coverup’.” “We will now allow an unscrupulous person to politician to deceive New Yorkers or distort the truth. Mr. Kim’s current statement does not even align with the comments he made at the meeting (see below). He is without credibility as his own demonstrate.”