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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Emmy Award should be rescinded over The Post’s revelation that his administration withheld nursing-home death data amid a probe by federal prosecutors, a Queens councilman said Friday.
In a letter to the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens) said the group’s rationale for honoring Cuomo with its International Emmy Founders Award was no longer valid.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.”
Holden 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 Post revealed Thursday night that Cuomo’s top aide, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, privately told Democratic lawmakers that his administration rebuffed their request for information on the total number of nursing home residents killed by COVID-19 due to fear it would be “used against us” by the Department of Justice.
In November, Cuomo stressed the importance of honesty while facing adversity when he received his Emmy during a virtual ceremony at which he was feted by celebrities Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Billy Joel, Spike Lee, Rosie Perez and Billy Crystal.
“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 at the time.
In a prepared statement released Friday morning, DeRosa insisted that state officials were “comprehensive and transparent in our responses to the DOJ.”
“As I said on a call with legislators, we could not fulfill their request as quickly as anyone would have liked,” she added.
“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.”
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
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