New York’s governor is set to receive an International Emmy award for his daily televised briefings at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrew Cuomo will receive the prize from the the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at a live-streamed award ceremony.
Tens of thousands of New Yorkers were killed by the virus in the spring but according to Bruce L Paisner, the Academy’s president and chief executive, Mr Cuomo is being honoured with the academy’s Founders Award “in recognition of his leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and his masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world”.
Previous recipients include former Vice President Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, and director Steven Spielberg.
“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,” Mr Paisner said.
“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.”
Mr Cuomo used more than 100 Powerpoint-driven slideshows and his sometimes emotional, sometimes acerbic style to provide daily updates and detail his administration’s efforts to shutter the economy and avoid predictions of as many as 100,000 people hospitalised at once.
The pandemic peaked in early-to-mid April, when over 18,000 people were hospitalised at the same time medical facilities recorded as many as 800 deaths in one day.
So many people died in New York City that officials were forced to introduce mass burials (see video below):