Governor Cuomo fulfilled his annual pre-Thanksgiving tradition of handing out Turkeys to those in need. Although this year, he did so wearing a mask to stop the spread of COVID-19.

For weeks, Cuomo’s message has been the same: keep Thanksgiving family gatherings to fewer than 10 people, preferably among members of your own household, and avoid traveling or seeing sick or elderly relatives who would be susceptible to the spread of the virus.

What You Need To Know

  • For weeks, Cuomo has been urging people to limit holiday gatherings and avoid coming into contact with those most vulnerable to COVID-19

  • On Monday, Cuomo said he plans to see his 89-year-old mother on Thanksgiving, then quickly backtracked

  • Cuomo says he has to work on Thanksgiving and it wasn’t plausible for him to quarantine and take a test before seeing his own mother

“It’s not a normal Thanksgiving, I know,” Cuomo said recently at a briefing. “And it’s hard, I know, I know. And we all love it. It’s hard for all of us. It’s hard for me.”

Which is why it was such a surprise to hear Cuomo’s answer when he was asked about his Thanksgiving plans in a radio interview Monday afternoon. 

“The story is my mom is going to come up and two of my girls. That is the current plan,” Cuomo explained.

The inadvertent admission led to an immediate backlash on social media as critics were quick to point out that Cuomo appeared to be violating his own holiday rules by potentially exposing his 89-year old mother, Mathilda Cuomo. The governor then announced he would, in fact, not be seeing her.

On Tuesday, Cuomo sought to explain his reversal.

“The CDC’s guidance is only your household. I just said their guidance is stronger than ours. Ours is no more than 10. You can be with you mother. A lot of people are going to be with their mother. Safe is you should be quarantined, removed from other people, and take a test. I’m not in a position to do that,” Cuomo said.

On the COVID-19 numbers, Cuomo said the current statewide positive-testing rate is 2.9%. The way the spike in new cases is currently headed, experts predict it could be as high as 12% by January 2, and 9% here in the city by then.