Great to hear that Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s daily coronavirus briefings have earned him an International Emmy award.
The New York governor was presented with the Founders Award from The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on Monday for the 111 briefings broadcast around the world during the height of the pandemic.
Prominent New Yorkers including Spike Lee, Robert DeNiro, Billy Joel and Ben Stiller joined the ceremony — which was streamed virtually Monday, coincidentally minutes before Cuomo began yet another briefing — to offer their congratulations before the governor offered his pre-recorded remarks.
“I wish I could say that my daily COVID presentations were well-choreographed, scripted, rehearsed or reflected any of the talents that you advance,” Cuomo said. “They didn’t. They offered only one thing: authentic truth and stability. But, sometimes that’s enough.
Previous recipients of the Founders award include Vice President Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, and director Steven Spielberg.
Academy leaders said Cuomo was chosen for his ability to educate and calm viewers across the world at the height of the crisis. The daily press conferences were “a whole new dimension in public education,” the academy president said Monday.
The pandemic peaked in New York City in early-to-mid April, when over 18,000 people were hospitalized at once and hospitals and nursing homes reported as many as 800 deaths in one day.
New York has reported at least 34,187 deaths of people due to COVID-19, according to data from John Hopkins University & Medicine. And at least 6,600 residents have died in nursing homes, according to state data, which doesn’t state how many nursing home residents died in hospitals.
The number of daily infections, hospitalizations and deaths plummeted as Cuomo slowly reopened the state’s economy this summer, when about 1 percent of tests were coming up positive.
New York is now seeing far fewer deaths and hospitalizations than this spring. Still, the state’s daily average of COVID-19 cases over the past seven days has more than doubled in two weeks as cases surge nationwide.
“It has been a dark moment indeed, but what strikes me most is that when things are at their worst that’s when you can see people at their best,” Cuomo said in his acceptance speech. “Thank you for this tremendous honor…we will get through this together and we will be the stronger for it.”
Watch the ceremony and Cuomo’s acceptance speech here.