Democratic politician Ronald Tae Sok “Ron” Kim, 41, claimed that he was bathing his children at home on February 11, 2021 when he received a call from 56th New York governor Andrew Cuomo, 63. Before this, the governor’s top aide Melissa DeRosa, 38, privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the nursing home death toll from the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York, United States.
On February 11, 2021, DeRosa had a meeting with the lawmakers via video conference call for more than 2 hours. She admitted that the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August 2020 when 45th U.S. president Donald Trump, 74, turned it into “a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the meeting obtained by The New York Post.
“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” DeRosa said of Trump. She added that the former president started going after 56th New Jersey governor Phil Murphy, 63, 40th California governor Gavin Newsom, 53, and 49th Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, 49.
A day after the meeting, Cuomo allegedly called Kim, who has been a member of the New York State Assembly from the 40th District since January 4, 2021. Kim told CNN, “Gov. Cuomo called me directly on Thursday to threaten my career if I did not cover up for Melissa and what she said.”
“He tried to pressure me to issue a statement and it was a very traumatizing experience,” Kim said said of Cuomo. According to Kim, the governor added, “We’re in this business together and we don’t cross certain lines.”
Kim was first elected in November 2012 making him the first ever Korean American elected in New York. He said, “No man has ever spoken to me like that in my entire life.”
“At some point, he tried to humiliate me, asking: ‘Are you a lawyer? I didn’t think so. You’re not a lawyer,'” Kim said of Cuomo. “It almost felt like, in retrospect, he was trying to bait me and anger me and say something inappropriate. I’m glad I didn’t.”
Born in South Korea to Korean parents Seo Jun Kim and Sun Hee Kim, Ron was 7 years old when he and his parents moved to Queens, New York City, New York. Ron earned his bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, Oneida County, New York and his master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College in New York City.