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Cuomo to get Emmy for use of TV during COVID-19 pandemic

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoFor Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty Cardinal Dolan hails Supreme Court decision on churches, COVID-19 Cuomo blames new conservative majority for high court's COVID-19 decision MORE (D) is getting an international Emmy for his use of television during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the international Emmy Awards, credited Cuomo with "masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world" during the crisis. The group cited the governor's daily coronavirus briefings that were carried live by New York’s local TV stations.

“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,” the organization's president & CEO Bruce L. Paisner said in a statement. “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.”

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The award, an International Emmy Founders Award, is given to a person who “crosses cultural boundaries to touch our common humanity," according to the International Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences. 

"It’s flattering – I accepted on behalf of the people of the state, and I think it’s flattering to the people of the state," Cuomo said of the award on Friday during a press call. "I think what the people of New York did was amazing, going from the highest infection rate to one of the lowest. I think their participation in the daily press presentations was amazing – we had over 64 million people participate."

While many health experts have credited New York for its efforts to control COVID-19, Cuomo has also earned criticism for his response. The pandemic has resulted in 26,257 deaths so far in the state. New York legislators also blasted him for writing a book, “American Crisis,” about his management of the pandemic before it is over.

This week Cuomo also got in a heated exchange with reporters during a briefing as New York City moved to shut down in-person learning amid an uptick in cases.

Cuomo will be presented the award during the virtual Emmy Awards ceremony on Nov. 23. He told reporters he filmed an acceptance video that will play during the ceremony, "which I got a real kick out of."

-Updated 5:16 p.m.