A Democratic lawmaker in New York is demanding that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) Emmy Award be rescinded following allegations that the governor covered up the true extent of nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to avoid a federal investigation.
Queens Councilman Robert Holden (D) urged the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to take back Cuomo’s award, saying that the governor’s actions “have been an insult to every New Yorker who lost a loved one” to the coronavirus.
Cuomo received the Emmy in November in recognition of his daily televised press briefings during the height of the pandemic. During the virtual ceremony, Hollywood elites came out to salute the governor, including Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Billy Joel, and Spike Lee.
The governor said in his acceptance speech that his daily briefings “only offered one thing — authentic truth and stability. But sometimes, that’s enough.”
Cuomo is now dealing with perhaps the biggest scandal of his administration after a top aide revealed that Cuomo withheld the release of data on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes because he feared it could be used against him by the Department of Justice under then-President Donald Trump.
“We now know that his TV appearances and clout were used to mislead the public regarding how their loved ones died,” Councilman Holden said in a letter to the academy that was obtained by the New York Post. “Please rescind the Governor’s award immediately, as his actions have been an insult to every New Yorker who lost a loved one during this terrible pandemic.”
Cuomo is also facing calls for impeachment as well as demands for criminal prosecution.
During the pandemic, Cuomo ordered nursing homes and other elder care facilities to accept COVID-19 patients. His order is believed to have hastened the spread of the virus among the state’s elderly population, who are among the most vulnerable to the illness.
Some reported estimates have put New York’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19 close to 13,000, much higher than the 8,677 reported by the state’s Department of Health.
Hollywood consistently cheered Cuomo during the pandemic, heaping praise on the governor and expressing gushing adoration. Comedian Chelsea Handler declared she was “hot” for the governor and penned a Vogue article titled “Dear Andrew Cuomo, I Want To Be Your First Lady.”