New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest award for his “inspired leadership” and the irony of his thanks to one of his mentors set off a fresh wave of backlash.
Just weeks after the Democrat leader was awarded an Emmy for his coronavirus press conferences, he was named one of the recipients of this year’s Edward M. Kennedy Institute Award for Inspired Leadership. Cuomo, along with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker ,were given the 2020 honor on Wednesday.
Cuomo, who was married for 15 years to Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, gave a shout out of thanks to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy for teaching him about “humanity, leadership and putting people first.”
“I learned so much from Senator Kennedy. I had the good fortune to be working in Washington when he was in the Senate. I was the secretary of Housing and Urban Development,” Cuomo said in video from the virtual event. “His lesson of substance first. It’s about making accomplishments, it’s about getting results. He was extraordinary.”
“I miss Senator Ted Kennedy. I miss his leadership, I miss his spirit, I miss his personality. I miss his record of accomplishments, I miss his laugh. I miss his personal touch, the charisma, and the inspiration. The inspiration,” Cuomo said.
“He was inspirational as a government leader. And God bless everyone involved in the institute for keeping that alive. He was one of the greats. The greats. And a role model for many of us. I know for me,” he added.
The governor’s tone-deaf thanks to the late member of the Kennedy family brought on renewed anger, especially from Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean who lost both of her in-laws from COVID-19 in New York City due to controversial rules Cuomo allowed requiring nursing homes to accept returning patients even if they had tested positive for coronavirus.
Forgive me but seeing the governor of New York accept awards for his leadership that helped kill thousands of seniors has me a bit cranky this morning.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) December 10, 2020
Cuomo was slammed for being honored despite the thousands of people who died in the state, which was the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic at its height.
He was called out for receipt of the 2020 Edward M. Kennedy Award for Inspired Leadership and for his vocal gratitude to Kennedy, who died in 2009 after serving as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts for almost 47 years. Cuomo was quickly reminded of the Chappaquiddick scandal that plagued Kennedy for years after he caused the crash that ended the life of his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne.
Perhaps you are too young, or simply unaware, that Sen Ted Kennedy left a young campaign worker to die in an air pocket in his car, which he drive off a bridge in Chappaquidich one night, as he went away to sleep it off and sober up. He reported it to police the next morning.
— Benghazi Bob (@PowerGavin) December 10, 2020
The man who sent 1000s to #COVID death in nursing homes learned about “putting people first” from Ted Kennedy, a man who abandoned a woman to her death after he crashed their car into a pond. Those Cuomo victims & Mary Jo Kopechne can’t comment, but we still can. #disgusting https://t.co/HJkuEbrGTy
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) December 10, 2020
Twitter users showed no mercy in obliterating Cuomo’s dubious award.
Mary Jo Kopechne unavailable for comment
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) December 10, 2020
Everyone is upset about this, but I assume, given who it’s named after, that this is an award for killing people and getting away with it. https://t.co/Ij1ItXgefI
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) December 10, 2020
Hmmm… Ted Kennedy didn’t always put people first pic.twitter.com/8FQuUNc6Up
— Kate (@Kate4ver) December 10, 2020
— Dan Stringer, SEC Pimp (@Danstringer74) December 10, 2020
To be eligible for the Ted Kennedy award, you’ve had to’ve killed at least ONE person through negligence. Your achievement, though, has been so much greater. https://t.co/XafkpwytG8
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) December 10, 2020
But Kennedy only killed one person.
Shouldn’t you get 6,000 awards Killer Cuomo? https://t.co/OtpklLGyUk
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) December 10, 2020
I wouldn’t brag about Ted Kennedy’s humanity, leadership or putting people first…..I’m sure Mary Jo Kopechne and her family would question that! But you let innocent people die on your watch, so….shoe fits!
— *insert name here* (@wolfpack197721) December 10, 2020
The Ted Kennedy reference when your policies killed thousands in nursing homes…
Is he that dense? https://t.co/7voHTXvZs8
— Ashe Short (@AsheSchow) December 10, 2020
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