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After firestorm of criticism, Gov. Cuomo cancels Thanksgiving plans with 89-year-old mother

"His arrogance and hypocrisy knows no bounds" GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik

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Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo
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Updated: November 24, 2020 - 2:38pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week demanded that New Yorkers cancel all plans to gather with family members for Thanksgiving.

"If you are asking for my advice, I have said publicly that my personal advice is you don't have family gatherings, even for Thanksgiving," Cuomo said. "I don't want to endanger our family or our friends, so we'll celebrate virtually."

A few days ago, Cuomo said state residents should avoid gathering with older relatives for Thanksgiving. “Next Thanksgiving, you’ll ask yourself: Did I do everything I could to keep my community safe?” he said.

But like a slew of Democrats lately, the rules simply didn't apply to the governor.

In a radio interview, Cuomo said, "My mom is going to come up and two of my girls is the current plan."

His mother, Matilda, is 89, and two of his three daughters planned to travel to the governor's mansion in Albany for the holiday.

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik blasted Cuomo for his "hypocrisy" and "arrogance."

"This is one of the many reasons why Cuomo is the WORST Governor in America. His arrogance and hypocrisy knows no bounds. Do as I say, not as I do. Rules for thee, but not for me. Family for me, but none for you. A despised, hypocritical, tyrannical, hubris-laden Governor," Stefanik tweeted.

CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond wrote: "So first Gov. Cuomo urges people (wisely!) to limit Thanksgiving to people in their household. Now he invites his elderly mother & daughters over??"

And Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham added: "Un-freaking-believable. Now more than ever, people are looking to elected leaders for signals on how to mitigate risk. Is it any wonder so many aren't following health guidelines? And this is the allegedly pro-science party!"

As the blowback intensified, the governor's office released a statement saying he would not be having Thanksgiving with his mother and daughters.

"As the Governor said, he had been discussing see his mother with two of his daughters for a four-person Thanksgiving in accordance with all the state-issued guidance, but as he also said the plans were still changing and given the current circumstances with COVID, he will have to work through Thanksgiving and will not be seeing them," a Cuomo spokesman said. "Don't tell his mom - she doesn't know yet."

On Monday, Cuomo himself comments on the scandal.

"My daughter isn't coming to Thanksgiving. She is out of state and it’s safer not to travel. It's hard. But I can’t think of a better gesture of love than to say, I'm making the tough choice to keep you & our family safe. We may be physically apart but we’re spiritually together," he wrote on Twitter.