So far, President Biden has only made a passing comment on the crises that have engulfed Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and he seems to be hoping to avoid getting pulled in any further.
But as a longtime friend of the New York governor, Mr. Biden is one of the only people in the nation with the potential to prevent a protracted standoff between an increasingly isolated Mr. Cuomo and the rest of the Democratic Party. That has strained Mr. Biden’s efforts to stay firmly on the sidelines as the governor faces a fusillade of calls to resign.
Mr. Cuomo is confronting a spiraling set of allegations and investigations involving sexual harassment, a toxic workplace, the manipulation of the number of deaths at New York nursing homes and perceived loyalty tests from the governor’s vaccine czar.
Mr. Biden and Mr. Cuomo have not spoken, people close to both men said. Asked on Sunday night whether Mr. Cuomo should resign, Mr. Biden said only, “I think the investigation is underway, and we should see what it brings us.”
New York Times and Washington Post reported over the weekend that Larry Schwartz, the governor’s vaccine czar and a longtime lieutenant, had tried to assess the loyalty of county executives to Mr. Cuomo during phone calls about vaccine distribution — drawing particular attention at the White House on Monday.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said that the reports were “concerning” and that Mr. Schwartz’s calls were “inappropriate reported behavior.”
The calls prompted one executive to file a preliminary complaint with the state attorney general office’s public integrity bureau. Mr. Schwartz denied that he discussed vaccines in a political context.
through intermediaries to then-Gov. David Paterson that he wanted him not to run for another term the following year.