New York’s Andrew Cuomo cancels Thanksgiving with 89-year-old mother after Covid backlash | US news

Andrew Cuomo won’t be having Thanksgiving with his mother after all.

The New York governor had announced on Monday that he would be spending Thanksgiving with his 89-year-old mother and two daughters in Albany, New York, despite urging his constituents to refrain from gathering for the American holiday amid a rise in coronavirus cases.

But later in the day, his office issued a statement clarifying that “plans have changed” following a backlash.

“Given the current circumstances with Covid, [Cuomo] will have to work through Thanksgiving,” his senior adviser Rich Azzopardi told the Wall Street Journal’s Jimmy Vielkind.

Cuomo has been asking New Yorkers over the past few days to refrain from traveling or 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, just on Sunday.

Azzopardi said on Monday that Cuomo’s mom hadn’t been told yet that their Thanksgiving was canceled, although they did have a difficult discussion about Thanksgiving plans last week.

Cuomo on Monday said he was reopening an emergency Covid-19 field hospital on Staten Island, the first such facility in the state to relaunch since the state partly tamed the pandemic over the summer.

New York state has averaged nearly 5,500 new cases a day over the past seven days. Hospitalizations in the state have risen 122% over the last three weeks, Cuomo said.

The temporary hospital cared for 200 patients in spring, when New York City’s hospital wards were overwhelmed with seriously ill and dying patients. Now, Cuomo said, officials were concerned it might be needed again, as the virus has spread in the borough at a faster rate than in the rest of the city.

Covid-19 cases are on the rise across the United States, and Cuomo was one of many governors asking residents to stay home for the holidays. Around 83,000 people across the US are in hospital with Covid-19, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Infections have led to a shortage of hospital beds and health care workers, and they threaten non-Covid-related surgeries and other care.

Los Angeles on Monday shut down restaurant dining and plans to adopt a new stay-at-home order. Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts warned that he could impose tighter social distancing restrictions before Thanksgiving if hospitalizations continue to rise. Nevada tightened restrictions on casinos, restaurants and private gatherings.

“We are on a rapid trajectory that threatens to overwhelm our health care system, our frontline health workers and your access to care. So it’s time to act,” said Nevada governor Steve Sisolak, who recently contracted Covid-19.


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