Gov Andrew M Cuomo is being awarded an Emmy for his ‘masterful’ COVID-19 press conferences which, the Emmys say, he used to ‘inform and calm people’ around the world.
In a tweet, the organization said: ‘On Friday, the Emmy Awards tweeted: ‘Gov Cuomo of NY will receive the International Emmy Founders Award in recognition of his leadership during the Covid19 pandemic his masterful use of TV to inform calm people around the world.’
Previous winner includes Steven Spielberg, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes among other TV and film legends.
Many are already questioning why he is being honored, given New York had the most severe infection rates, and considering some of Cuomo’s decisions, namely the fact that he sent thousands of COVID-19 patients back into nursing homes.
During a call with reporters on Friday, Cuomo said he’d already recorded an acceptance speech to be played during the virtual ceremony, during which he said he thanked the Academy.
‘It’s flattering, I accept it on behalf of the people of the state and I think it’s flattering to the people of the state. What the people of New York did was amazing.
Oprah won the award in 2005. Steven Spielberg won the award in 2006
‘I think their participation in the daily presentations was amazing. We had over 64million people participate. Millions of Americans participated, still do. The social media numbers literally are in the millions.
‘So I am very proud of New Yorkers. That’s why I want to point out – New Yorkers are doing better than people all over the country,’ he said.
He also thanked journalists for asking him questions that elicited a ‘dramatic’ response, and joked that he would bring the award to the next briefing to plant it on the table and ‘share’ it with them.
‘It’s a collective Emmy,’ he said.
Cuomo’s decision to send elderly COVID-19 patients back into nursing homes was blamed for the deaths of thousands of other elderly New York residents. Cuomo has said nothing about it.
His daily press conference, which millions around the world tuned into, normally consisted of him speaking uninterrupted for 30 minutes, then taking questions for 30.
He would often have members of his family there along with celebrities.
Major news networks aired it almost every day in full, including CNN – for whom his brother Chris works.
Alongside the Emmy, Cuomo has cashed in on the pandemic with a book titled American Crisis: Lessons in Leadership.
He was slammed for it, with many asking when he had the time to write it, and why he thought he should given the pandemic is far from over.
He has defended it relentlessly, even after sending some areas back into lockdown earlier in the fall.
Journalist Yashar Ali who tweeted: ‘I’m old enough to remember when you published a book just last month with this title: ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic’.
Another person chimed in: ‘Don’t forget that Cuomo wrote an entire book on ‘lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic’ that was released in October, months before we were even close to finished with this thing.’
‘Cuomo declared victory over COVID and wrote a book detailing his ‘success’ in defeating the virus. Oops,’ another wrote.
Cuomo bore the brunt of outrage as he announced a new clampdown on New York as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Bars, restaurants and gyms in the state must shut on-premises services at 10pm and private parties are now limited to 10 people.
Cuomo said the rules will come into force from Friday, warning ‘COVID is getting worse by the day’.
In his book, Cuomo condemned the Trump administration’s coronavirus response and praised his own leadership efforts.
Cuomo’s book, American Crisis, was published last month
Cuomo describes in the book trying to placate President Donald Trump in order to get needed hospital beds, ventilators and other supplies for New York.
He detailed the state’s success at rapidly ramping up testing capacity and his worry that New Yorkers wouldn’t heed calls to stay at home to help avoid a catastrophic surge in hospitalizations.
Cuomo also addresses a frequent criticism of his leadership style: that he is overly controlling.
‘You show me a person who is not controlling, and I’ll show you a person who is probably not highly successful,’ he wrote.
The book, however, fell short of addressing Cuomo’s failings, including the thousands of patient deaths at New York nursing homes.
It’s unclear how much of an advance Cuomo received for it.
Critics said it was shameful for him to be trying to make money from the situation when New York has been the worst-hit state by far in terms of number of deaths.
His last book – a memoir which he wrote in 2017 – sold only 3,200 copies. He was given a whopping $738,000 advance for it – $248 for every book sold.
Meanwhile, ex-Brooklyn assemblyman Dov Hikind has also revealed he is publishing his own book titled ‘Lessons in leadership: King Covidius Cuomo’ that mocks the Democratic Gov’s handling of the pandemic