Cuomo gets new award for COVID-19 pandemic 'leadership'
New York's governor also won an Emmy last month for his televised COVID-19 briefings
New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker are being awarded for their leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Cuomo is being recognized with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute Award for Inspired Leadership. The distinction comes in the wake of heavy criticism for the governor who in a March advisory, directed nursing homes in the Empire State to accept patients who had or were suspected of having COVID-19.
As of December 7, according to the non-profit Long Term Care Community Coalition, nursing homes and adult care facilities had 7,147 reported COVID-19 deaths. A number of critics believe this was heightened by Cuomo's advisory last spring.
Cuomo has defended the nursing home policy as in line with guidance from the Trump administration at the time.
The award is in part for his work fighting “for social, racial and economic justice for all.”
New York was one of the hardest-hit states in the early months of the pandemic, but Cuomo has received praise for enforcing strict mask mandates and social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19.
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His daily televised news conferences earned him an Emmy for providing useful, detailed data on the issues confronting his state – including the virus and the economy.
Meanwhile, Baker, who has been at loggerheads with President Trump throughout the pandemic, will also be recognized, notably for his success in implementing a $15 minimum wage and the strongest paid family leave program in the nation.
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He has also had feats in tightening gun-safety measures and passing tax relief, among other things.
The two governors were to be honored in a virtual ceremony on Wednesday.