New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reversing course on his decision to invite his 89-year-old mother to Albany for Thanksgiving after receiving harsh criticisms from the public for what was perceived as hypocrisy.
Cuomo, who has been one of the faces at the forefront in the battle against COVID-19, drew backlash after announcing in a radio interview that he would be spending Thanksgiving with his mother and two daughters in the Governor's Mansion in Albany, just hours after he held a briefing admonishing large social gatherings over the holidays.
Following the public outcry, Cuomo his the brakes on his plans, with a spokesman saying on Monday, Nov. 23 that “given the current circumstances with COVID, (Cuomo) will have to work through Thanksgiving.”
That came just a few hours after Cuomo had said otherwise.
"The story is my mom is going to come up and two of my girls is the current plan, but the plans change," Cuomo told WAMC Radio In Albany. "That's my plan. I'm going to work — I've got a lot of work to do between now and Thanksgiving,’” he said. “And given the current circumstances with COVID, he will have to work through Thanksgiving and will not be seeing them.”
The “do as I say, not as I do,” move by Cuomo drew the ire of some other elected officials in New York, including upstate New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who tweeted “This is one of the many reasons why Cuomo is the WORST Governor in America.”
“His arrogance and hypocrisy knows no bounds. Do as I say, not as I do. Rules for thee, but not for me. Family for me, but none for you. A despised, hypocritical, tyrannical, hubris-laden Governor.”
Staten Island Councilman Joe Borelli - where several COVID-19 micro-cluster hotspots were designated on Monday - told the New York Post that Cuomo “lives in an alternate reality” after hearing of his plans.
“Four family members, plus his police detail, cooks, caterers, cleaners, assistants and staff,” he said. “If these outsiders can come to the governor’s mansion for Thanksgiving, as they do on a daily basis, in and out, then it’s quite another thing to tell New Yorkers their Aunt Tilly cannot.”
Cuomo has been at odds in recent days with some law enforcement agencies that have stated they will not enforce the state’s guidance of having no more than 10-person gatherings in private residences.
“This is not a normal Thanksgiving, despite the commercialization,” Cuomo said during a COVID-19 briefing on Monday, Nov. 23. “This Thanksgiving is more special than most Thanksgivings … it has a different meaning.
“This has been a horrific year where we’ve seen the worst of a generation, and a best in a generation,” he continued. “Never in my life has there been a Thanksgiving that is so significant to me on a deep level. It was about life and death this year, so it’s (the frontline workers) we should give thanks to.”
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