New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will receive International Emmy Founders Award for his daily televised briefings on coronavirus, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced on Friday. However, the decision was met with mixed reactions from Americans on social media.
The academy said it will present the award — whose recipients have been ex-Vice President Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg — to Cuomo on Monday in a live-streamed show for his 111 daily briefings that began on March 2.
The Democratic governor used the television in a "masterful" manner to inform and calm people amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it said. According to the academy, the Founders Award is presented to those who cross "cultural boundaries to touch our common humanity."
"The Governor's 111 daily briefings worked so well because he effectively created television shows, with characters, plot lines, and stories of success and failure," International Academy President & CEO Bruce L. Paisner said. "People around the world tuned in to find out what was going on, and New York tough became a symbol of the determination to fight back."
New York recorded over 590,000 cases of coronavirus so far with over 34,000 deaths. At least 6,600 nursing home residents died during the pandemic.
The academy's announcement divided Twitter users with some claiming that Cuomo was undeserving of the award. Late Sen. John McCain's daughter Meghan McCain called the move "shameful,' while Congresswoman Lauren Boebert said presenting an Emmy to Cuomo was similar to "giving Hannibal Lecter the Nobel Peace Prize." However, other users welcomed the academy's decision to present an Emmy to Cuomo.
"He was our hero Superhero during the lockdown.. calmed our anxiety and always kept us up to speed!! Well deserved," one Twitter user wrote. "As far as I´ve seen Cuomo is the only one holding briefings, telling people the truth and working hard for his citizens-if he gets the Emmy I´m all for it," tweeted another user.