This year, the Emmys – the award show dedicated to television – is giving an award to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, despite widespread criticism of his massive failures that led to unnecessary deaths and politicization of the crisis.
Bruce Paisner, president and CEO of the Television Academy, said Gov. Cuomo earned the award for “effectively” hosting a daily briefing. Previously, the award was denied even to Steve Carrell (The Office) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad). Sadly for New York families, Gov. Cuomo’s performance during press conferences hardly translated to helping people, especially seniors in nursing homes. It’s a stretch to say that Gov. Cuomo deserves plaudits for his mastery of theatrical dramatic arts that used press conferences to spin the repeated disastrous failures of his administration, for example:
- He sowed doubt about the effectiveness of a vaccine to COVID-19, despite record breaking development by U.S. pharmaceutical makers.
- He forced seniors into nursing homes – even those who tested positive for COVID-19 – leading to a spike of cases and deaths in nursing homes across the state.
- He withheld federal funds allocated to New York cities and rural areas, defying congressional intent.
- He has overseen the targeting of religious communities.
- Despite telling New Yorkers to stay home for Thanksgiving, the governor had plans to see his own family until the public found out.
As Ways and Means Member Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) tweeted: “it is no wonder so many NYers are sick and tired of the ‘holier than thou’ hypocrisy.”
The showmanship doesn’t stop there either—Gov. Cuomo still found time amidst the crisis to publish a book praising his own “leadership” in mid-October. The book has been panned by critics—the Wall Street Journal wrote, “the book’s launch may be ill-timed and raises the question of whether the public has an appetite for its contents.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper went further: “NY state has lost more than 32,000 lives to COVID-19,” tweeted CNN host Jake Tapper. “So while it’s great that the numbers have gone down, it’s perplexing to see crowing, Cuomo going on Fallon, etc. No other state has lost as many lives, not even close. New Jersey is next with 17,000+.”
Mr. Tapper added: “Yes, this has been a major challenge for every leader, but New York’s leaders do not have a success story to tell. It’s been about missteps and late actions.”
If Emmy’s are about “acting” maybe Cuomo does deserve an award. But it should be for “acting” like his response to COVID was NOT a disaster.