New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reversed course on Thanksgiving plans after facing criticism for including his elderly mother initially.
Cuomo told WAMC broadcaster Alan Chartck on Monday that his mother, Matilda Como, 89, was planning to travel to join him in Albany, with two of his daughters.
“My mom will come and two of my daughters will be the current plan,” Cuomo said.
However, the governor warned, “But plans are changing … I have a lot of work to do between now and Thanksgiving.”
Later in the interview and during his press conference earlier in the day, Cuomo warned New Yorkers planning to hold Thanksgiving celebrations as usual about the danger of it.
“This is no ordinary Thanksgiving, despite the marketing,” Cuomo said during his press conference on Monday, and asked New Yorkers not to purchase ads promoting photos of large, familiar gatherings.
The apparent dissonance angered some on Twitter, with New York MP Elise Stefanic describing the governor as “hypocritical.”
“Do as I say, not as I do,” said Stephanic, the Republican, chirp. “Family is for me, but nothing for you.”
On Tuesday, chief advisor Rich Azobardi told CNN that the governor’s plans have indeed changed.
“Given the current conditions with Covid, he will have to work during Thanksgiving and not see it,” Azobardi said.
Cuomo spent a great deal of time addressing his family’s grief and frustration over Thanksgiving during his conference on Tuesday, and says he explained to his mother several times why it wasn’t safe to travel for the vacation.
“I didn’t want my mother to be disappointed,” said Cuomo. “She is eighty-nine years old, and she’s thinking,” How many Thanksgiving are you getting? “
One of his daughters, who lives in Chicago, had also planned a Thanksgiving visit, which led to a tearful phone call in which they discussed how to travel safely during the pandemic but ultimately decided she should stay home.
“It’s hard, but sometimes it’s difficult,” said Cuomo.