Chris Cuomo opened his primetime CNN show Monday night by acknowledging the growing sexual harassment scandal surrounding his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and telling viewers why he “obviously” would not be covering it.
“Before we start tonight, let me say something that I’m sure is very obvious to you who watch my show,” the host began. “And thank you for that. You’re straight with me, I’ll be straight with you.”
“Obviously, I’m aware of what’s going on with my brother,” Cuomo continued. “And obviously I cannot cover it, because he is my brother. Now, of course CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so.”
“I have always cared very deeply about these issues and profoundly so,” Cuomo added, declining to elaborate or name which “issues” he was talking about. “There’s a lot of news going on that matters also, so let’s get after that.”
The host was speaking at the end of a day in which a third woman accused the New York governor of inappropriate sexual behavior. But as New York Times reporter Annie Karni posted on Twitter in response, while it may make sense for Cuomo to recuse himself from covering his brother, “What never made sense to me was Chris Cuomo covering him when things were going well for Andrew Cuomo.”
Especially during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Cuomo was a frequent guest on his brother’s show, where they would joke around together about calling their mom and memorably performed a playful comedy sketch with a giant test swab at the same time the governor’s office was underreporting nursing home deaths.