Emmy organizers are facing demands to strip Andrew Cuomo of the ‘farcical’ award they gave him for his pandemic press briefings, DailyMail.com can reveal.
In a letter sent Friday, 10 GOP representatives urged the president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (IATAS) to distance the group from Cuomo by rescinding his International Emmy Founders Award.
In November, IATAS awarded Cuomo with an Emmy for his daily, televised press conferences providing an update on the developing coronavirus situation in one of the states most hard-hit by the pandemic – which the organizers called ‘masterful’ at the time.
‘Rescinding Governor Cuomo’s Emmy will not bring back the lives lost due to his deceit and reckless policies,’ they wrote to Bruce Paisner. ‘However, it would send a message to their surviving loved ones that IATAS sympathizes with their pain and stands with them in solidarity.’
‘We urge you to rescind Governor Cuomo’s Emmy Award for the sake of your credibility and the heartfelt pain of New York families,’ the letter continues.
One letter co-signer, Representative Jody Hice of Georgia, said the award is a ‘farce’ used as part of Cuomo’s cover up for the true outcomes of his coronavirus policies.
‘From the farcical Emmy award to the book tour and the theatrical press conferences, Governor Cuomo was paraded by the Left and the media as the model on COVID-19 response,’ Hice told DailyMail.com.
‘We now know that was a charade covering up his disastrous policies,’ he continued. ‘His reckless failures in leadership led to the deaths of thousands, and his administration covered it up to save his precious image.’
A spokesperson for Cuomo dismissed the letter as a ‘cheap political stunt.’
A group of Republican lawmakers sent a letter Friday, exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com, demanding the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences strip New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of his Emmy
The letter was led by Tennessee Rep. Mark Green and was signed by nine others, including Minority Whip Steve Scalise
The demand comes as Cuomo faces increasing criticism of his handling of the coroanvirus pandemic in one of the states most hard hit by the virus – including claims he intentionally lied about the number of deaths in nursing homes
‘We are laser focused on vaccinating as many people as humanly possible and leading the state through the ongoing public health crisis,’ Jack Sterne told DailyMail.com.
‘New Yorkers have seen the Governor show up and fight this pandemic on their behalf every day for a year, and that’s why they support his actions to defeat COVID by a large margin. The letter is a cheap political stunt, period,’ he continued.
So far, 28.3 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus and close to 508,000 have fallen fatal to the disease. New York, one of the most hard-hit states, has made up more than 1.6 million of the U.S. cases and 47,000 deaths – as of Friday.
Republican Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a co-signer of the letter, told DailyMail.com: ‘Governor Cuomo has no one but himself to blame for this tragedy, and I hope that IATAS will rescind the Governor’s Emmy to provide consolation for the thousands of grieving families seeing Governor Cuomo awarded for his deadly actions.’
The group of lawmakers, led by Tennessee Representative Mark Green, are accusing Cuomo of his ‘gross negligence’ in sending coronavirus-infected elderly back to their nursing home facilities resulting in thousands of deaths.
‘In March of 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an order forcing nursing homes to accept COVID- positive patients released from the hospital. Following his order, more than 9,000 COVID-positive patients were released into nursing homes,’ the letter details.
‘Following his order,’ it continued, ‘nearly 15,000 nursing home residents lost their lives to COVID-19. Many of these deaths could have been avoided if Governor Cuomo had followed the science rather than his political instincts.’
The letter was signed by Green, Hice, Scalise and fellow Republican Representatives Claudia Tenney of New York, Gregory Murphy of North Carolina, Chip Roy of Texas, Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, James Baird of Indiana, Michael Guest of Mississippi and John Joyce of Pennsylvania.
Cuomo being awarded the Emmy is an ’embarrassment,’ Congressman Guest said.
‘Governor Cuomo’s negligent actions and refusal to accept responsibility are certainly not deserving of an Emmy awarded for presenting the facts to the people of New York,’ Congressman Green, the author of the letter, said in a statement to DailyMail.com.
President Joe Biden, when he was still a candidate, referred to Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic as the ‘gold standard’ to which other local and state leaders should aspire.
The White House wouldn’t say this week if Biden still feels that way. But the administration is sticking by their defense of Cuomo, and says they will continue to work with him on the coronavirus response and in his capacity as chairman of the National Governors Association.
Bruce Paisner, president and CEO of IATAS, awarded Cuomo an Emmy in a virtual ceremony in November, for his ‘masterful’ daily televised updates on the pandemic
‘At the time, which was I believe April of last year, the president spoke out and said positive things about a range of governors — Democrats and Republicans — who were stepping in when there was a vacuum of leadership at the federal level, when they were getting no information, when they were getting no help, and no guidance from the former Trump administration,’ White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at her press briefing on Thursday.
‘He made some positive comments about Governor Cuomo and his role in New York at the time as he did about a range of governors,’ she continued, remaining ambiguous on specifics regarding Cuomo’s nursing home scandal.
Other local, state and federal lawmakers, however, are demanding Cuomo resign for sending sick elderly patients back from the hospitals to their nursing home facilities – where they were at a much higher chance of infecting other at-risk individuals.
On March 10, Cuomo released guidance mandating New York hospitals could not send back patients who tested positive to long term care facilities until they tested negative. Later, on March 25, the state’s website promoted new guidance from the Department of Health barring elderly care facilities, where some of the most susceptible populations reside, from turning away coronavirus-positive patients.
He denies that this order significantly contributed to New York’s 46,000 COVID-19 deaths.
The March 25 order, which was later removed from the website entirely, stated: ‘no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.’
The order also said nursing homes and adult facilities were ‘prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.’
Cuomo is also under water for allegedly intentionally underreporting the number of deaths at such facilities.
Previously, Cuomo publicly released that approximately 8,500 COVID deaths in New York were from those at nursing homes and elderly care facilities. New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, revealed last month that the number is actually nearly 15,000 – a 43 per cent increase from what was previously reported by the governor’s administration.
Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa admitted during a private call that the governor’s office withheld data requested by New York State legislatures because, at the time, they felt it could be ‘used against us’ by then-President Donald Trump.
In an attempt at damage control, Cuomo held a press conference on Monday where he admitted he should have released data related to COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes sooner – but it appears to be too little, too late for the governor.
‘As I said on a call with legislators, we could not fulfill their request as quickly as anyone would have liked,’ DeRosa said. ‘But we are committed to being better partners going forward as we share the same goal of keeping New Yorkers as healthy as possible during the pandemic.’
During Cuomo’s virtual ceremony accepting the Emmy award, he stressed the importance of honesty while facing adversity – an ironic phrase now that it’s revealed he lied about the nursing home death toll.
‘I’m proud of New Yorkers who had the courage to tell the truth and the strength to stand together — that’s what New York tough really means, to be tough enough to say, ‘I love you, I care about you, I need you,’ to see past the color of skin, religion or sexual orientation to see the humanity in each other, how we’re all interconnected and all interrelated,’ Cuomo said during the ceremony.
Letter co-signer Representative Guest said in a statement to DailyMail.com: ‘Governor Cuomo lied to the nation during his televised news conferences by covering up the deaths of thousands of American citizens – deaths that he prompted when he ordered patients from hospitals back into nursing homes at the beginning of this pandemic.’
‘Honoring his misdeeds with an Emmy is an embarrassment and that should be rescinded,’ he lamented.
Cuomo implemented a policy in March policy sending elderly coroanvirus patients back to their nursing home facilities from hospitals, which the 10 Republican co-signers say led to the high death toll of 15,000 in nursing homes
The virtual event in November was graced by the likes of Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Billy Joel and Spike Lee, among other celebrities.
The Friday letter is from the most high-ranking lawmakers so far demanding Cuomo be stripped of his Emmy, but it is not the first time politicians have made the call following revelations of his real handling of the pandemic.
In a letter to IATAS, Queens-based Democratic Councilman Robert Holden said the rationale for honoring Cuomo is no longer valid.
‘The Academy awarded Governor Cuomo ‘in recognition of his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic & his masterful use of TV to inform and calm people around the world,” Holden wrote. ‘We now know that his TV appearances and clout were used to mislead the public regarding how their loved ones died.’
He added: ‘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.’
The latest letter from Capitol Hill lawmakers adds to a laundry list of grievances against the once-beloved New York Democratic governor.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday he feels an investigation is needed into sexual harassment and assault allegations levied against Cuomo.
Former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan came out Wednesday with allegations that Cuomo kissed her without her consent and said he suggested they play ‘strip poker.’
Psaki said the allegations ‘should be reviewed.’
‘Let me first say that the president has been consistent in his position. When a person comes forward, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Their voice should be heard, not silenced,’ she said from the James S. Brady Briefing Room on Thursday.