New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, his job has been 24 hours a day, with little time for rest or relaxation, but he has found some normalcy quarantining at home with his adult daughters.
“Who could sleep in the middle of this, right? You could get into bed, you could try to sleep, but your mind doesn’t turn off and you know that people are dying, literally every hour in this state,” Cuomo told Howard Stern on Monday.
Cuomo said while he has no doubt New Yorkers and the country will get through this very challenging time, he too, is fighting stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic that has killed at least 23,650 Americans and more than 10,000 New Yorkers, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Cuomo, 62, admits he has cried at times.
“I can’t get over the death numbers every day. I can’t, and I can’t rationalize it … The healthcare workers have been heroic and have done great work and we’ve saved every life that we could because the healthcare workers were great, but I can’t get past the death numbers. There’s nothing that abates that pain,” Cuomo told Stern.
Cuomo also said he hasn’t had a “drop” of alcohol since this crisis started to ensure he is giving everything he has to fight it.
“This is 24 hours a day and I’m not going to be in a compromised position,” he said. “I’m at the age where you have a couple of glasses of wine and you feel it the next day. I’m not going to be diminished.”
Instead, Cuomo focuses on his new daily routine as governor, which to him feels a lot like “Groundhound Day.”
Typically Cuomo’s mornings are now spent preparing for his daily press briefing at 11 a.m. ET, while his afternoons are filled with operational work and nights are devoted to conversations with scientists and healthcare professionals on the front lines.
“We get numbers in from every hospital at night, which tells you about the death rate and the infection rate. So that is what every day looks like and then it is ‘Groundhog Day,'” Cuomo said, referencing the 1993 movie in which Bill Murray’s character lives the same day over and over again.
However Cuomo still experiences everyday life moments while isolated in Albany, New York with his three adult daughters — twins Mariah and Cara, 25, and Michaela, 22 (whose mom is his ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy).
He told Stern that he has watched some of Netflix’s “Tiger King” because his daughters were watching it, for example.
And Cuomo said he also tries to exercise as often as possible to ensure his own health during the pandemic.
But Cuomo admitted that he didn’t prioritize his own safety until his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, 49, got Covid-19 in late March.
“After Chris got the virus … I took more precautions,” he said. “I got a little smarter afterwards because it really is a tough, tough thing.”
He said instead of traveling all across the state to hold public briefings and meet with health officials, he decided to stay put in Albany.
While Cuomo said he personally isn’t “frightened” by the pandemic, he worries about his mother, Matilda who is 88 and Chris.
“Unfettered panic has no place. We figured out how to slow down the beast. That is a resolution. We will start to phase into an economy again. That will be a wave of resolution,” he said.
Though Cuomo said he doesn’t believe an “ultimate resolution” will come until there is a vaccine available, which is at least 18 months out.