Chris Cuomo says his absence from CNN next week has nothing to do with his embattled brother, or advising him on his response to sexual misconduct allegations.
Instead, the "Cuomo Prime Time" anchor is off for a planned summer vacation centered on his birthday, he says. He turns 51 on Monday.
The timing is conspicuous, particularly as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing potential impeachment after state Attorney General Letitia James released a report on the allegations of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior and a "hostile work environment."
James' report did not bring a criminal referral, but the state Legislature is also investigating the allegations and will use the report's findings in potential impeachment proceedings against the Democratic governor.
As Americans notice Chris Cuomo avoiding the accusations of misconduct by his brother outlined in the report, The New York Times reported this week that CNN offered the prime-time anchor a leave of absence to serve as an adviser to the governor when the allegations had been made by as many as 11 women.
The CNN host turned down the network's offer and decided he would continue to host his prime-time show and merely avoid the conflict of interest in covering news surrounding his older brother, including the investigation of New York's nursing home mandate that required long-term care facilities to take in COVID-19 infection seniors — despite the widespread knowledge that older adults are the most vulnerable to serious complications and risk of death from the virus.
Republicans and critics noted, however, the praise-filled coverage of his brother in the early days of the pandemic and that cutting off coverage now merely served to avoid covering his brother in a negative light.
"Every year I take my birthday week off," Cuomo told fellow CNN host Don Lemon on Thursday, Mediaite reported. "I'm looking forward to it."
While Chris Cuomo removed himself from covering the James report on his brother, CNN and Lemon have covered it in depth. Lemon called the report "damning" and said the governor's response to it was "tone-deaf" and really "didn't help him."
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