Andrew Cuomo Says He Hasn't Been Able to See His Mom and Daughter Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
The coronavirus pandemic has definitely taken a personal toll on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Although Cuomo -- who has been in the spotlight due to his leadership amid the national emergency as New York remains the hardest hit state by the virus -- remains in touch with his brother, CNN journalist Chris Cuomo, in a new interview, he says he hasn't been able to be with their mother and one of his own daughters.
Cuomo's father, late politician Mario Cuomo, died in 2015 of heart failure, but his mother, 88-year-old Matilda -- who's herself a well-known advocate for women and children and was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2017 -- is still living. Meanwhile, Cuomo has three daughters -- 25-year-old twins Cara and Mariah and 22-year-old Michaela -- with his ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy.
"I haven’t been able to see my mother," Cuomo tells Rolling Stone when asked what's been personally hardest for him during the pandemic. "I'm not with one of my daughters. That on a personal level is very taxing. And I constantly say to myself, what else should I be doing? What else could I be doing? People are dying every day, and I don't know what else to do. And I know that tomorrow more people will die. And I don't know what else to do. And that is a terrible weight, and just an oppressive burden."
Last month, Cuomo enacted "Matilda's Law," named after his mother, which provided new protections for the most vulnerable populations including New Yorkers age 70 and older, people with compromised immune systems and those with underlying illnesses. Cuomo says he will continue to look out for those most vulnerable to COVID-19.
"And look, my daughter says to me the other night, 'Why don't you go to sleep? Why don't you close your eyes? You look tired,'" he shares. "And I said to her, 'Because there's more to do. There's more to do.' I'm just doing my best to fight to save as many lives as possible."
"I've accepted that people are going to die," he continues. "This virus is very effective at what it does. It's an expert killer, and it's a killer of the vulnerable. That's why it's a coward in some ways. It doesn't attack the strong. It attacks the vulnerable. And I'm here to protect the vulnerable. That's my job. I fight for the vulnerable. I fight for people who need a voice. I fight for people who need justice. And they are being attacked by this virus. And I just spend every minute of every day saying, 'What else can I do? What else can I do?'"
In one memorable CNN interview last month, Cuomo was teased by his younger brother, 49-year-old Chris -- who has since shared that he's tested positive for the coronavirus and has experienced severe symptoms -- about not calling their mother enough.
"I know you're working hard for your state, but no matter how hard you're working, there's always time to call mom," Chris said on-air. "She wants to hear from you. Just so you know."
The 62-year-old politician argued back, "I called mom. I called mom just before I came on this show. By the way, she said I was her favorite."
As for Cuomo's other personal relationships, his ex-girlfriend, celebrity chef Sandra Lee, recently shared that she still has a lot of love for the politician even after their split last September following 14 years together. Lee told The New York Times that they still communicate daily.
"He's still my guy," she said. "Neither one of us, well as far as I know, has had a date."
Lee also shared that she's been working with Cuomo's daughter, Cara, to help personal protective equipment donors with volunteer relief efforts.
"They're my family, and they always will be my family," Lee said of the Cuomos. "We share a home, we share children, we share friendship. I will protect him and be there for him until the day I die."
ET spoke to 53-year-old Lee in January, when she said John Legend actually helped her while she was having a tough time with her breakup from Cuomo. Watch the video below for more:
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Sandra Lee Says Ex Andrew Cuomo Will Always Be Family After Breakup