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Cuomo's position is getting less and less tenable for Democrats

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Queens, N.Y
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks before the opening of a mass Covid-19 vaccination site in Queens, N.Y., on Feb. 24, 2021.Seth Wenig / AFP - Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — One allegation of sexual harassment is a big problem for a politician.

A second allegation turns into a full-blown crisis.

And a third — in less than a week — becomes unsustainable for the politician and his political party, because no one knows when a fourth or fifth allegation might surface.

This is the untenable political situation for New York's Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, who saw a third woman accuse him of harassment as the state's attorney general has begun proceeding with an investigation.

And it’s not too dissimilar from the circumstance that Al Franken faced when he ultimately resigned his Senate seat.

Now there are some key differences between the Franken and Cuomo situations.

For one thing, there hasn’t been a cascade of calls for Cuomo to resign; so far, just one New York congresswoman, Kathleen Rice, has called for his resignation. (Notably, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, N.Y., wants the matter investigated first.)

In addition, Democrats are under less pressure to claim the political high ground and make an obvious contrast than they were during the 2017 Franken situation when Roy Moore was a congressional candidate in Alabama and Donald Trump was president.

And Cuomo has never been someone willing to walk away, even when facing a crisis that’s become impossible to control.

But Democrats need to be asked this question after the latest allegation against him: How could you call for — or accept — Franken’s resignation, but not do the same for Cuomo?

Especially when you don’t know when the next allegation is going to surface?

And especially when the governor is already facing a separate damaging crisis (over the counting of nursing-home deaths in his state)?

Where’s the GOP policy?

Yesterday, we wrote that Donald Trump — as well as the other Republican speakers — barely commented on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package at CPAC over the weekend.

The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin takes it one step further: There was almost no discussion of policy at CPAC.

“There was vanishingly little discussion of why Republicans lost the presidency, the House and the Senate over the last four years, nor much debate about what agenda they should pursue to rebuild the party,” Martin writes.

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

53 percent: Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ approval rating in Florida, up eight points since July, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll.

Over half: The share of people charged in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot who are not connected to specific extremist groups or to one another, per a new study by George Washington University's Program on Extremism.

64-33: The vote on Biden’s newly-confirmed Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona

4 million: The number of Johnson & Johnson vaccine shots being shipped out this week

28,763,455: The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 57,286 more than yesterday morning.)

516,978: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 1,434 more than yesterday morning.)

46,738: The number of people currently hospitalized with the coronavirus in the U.S.

355.7 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the U.S. so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.

76,899,987: Number of vaccine doses administered in the U.S.

25,466,405: People fully vaccinated in the U.S.

58: The number of days left for Biden to reach his 100-day vaccination goal.

Senate set to take up Covid-19 relief bill

After a day of voting in the Senate that concluded with Cardona being confirmed by a 64-33 margin, the Senate will now turn to Covid-19 relief.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed Monday that the Senate will begin work on the House’s version of the American Rescue Plan. While the plan will likely be stripped of the minimum wage amendment — which the Senate parliamentarian ruled could not passed through budget reconciliation — other parts of the bill will be kept intact, such as pensions and COBRA assistance.

“This week, the Senate will take up the measure. Let me say that again — the Senate will take up the American rescue plan this week. I expect a hardy debate and some late nights, but the American people sent us here with a job to do, to help the country through this moment of extraordinary challenge, to end through action the greatest health crisis our country has faced in a century,” Schumer said.

Democrats are hoping to pass the legislation and have it signed into law before March 14, when unemployment insurance is set to expire.

And the Number of the Week is ... 84

The latest pod over at The Chuck Toddcast will introduce you to one of the most interesting characters in the history of American political scandals, who died in February.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

Now we find out: Former President Donald Trump and the then-first lady received their vaccines without fanfare back in January.

Latino groups are unhappy with the CEO of Goya Foods, who continues to claim that Trump is the “actual president.”

Don’t sleep on the story in Bessemer, Alabama, where Amazon workers are weighing whether to unionize.

And don’t miss what’s going on with voting rights restrictions in the Georgia state Legislature.

Infrastructure spending may have bipartisan support in theory, but the details are a lot trickier.

Sen. Mitt Romney took a tumble over the weekend, leaving him with stitches and a black eye.