NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo explains why tough love can help keep seniors safe during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 8:33 AM, Apr 01, 2020

Hours after CNN anchor Chris Cuomo confirmed that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus, his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo showed just how important tough love could be in preventing the spread of the disease.

During a Tuesday press conference, Andrew Cuomo told media members that just two weeks ago, his mother had been taking regular trips to his brother's house. The governor said that his mother was lonely during quarantine and wanted to be near her family.

But being a cable news anchor during a global pandemic means exposing oneself to dozens of people every day — and possibly exposing oneself to the virus, even when taking proper social distancing into account.

"Yeah, I feel bad that she's couped up in the apartment too, but you bring her to the house, you expose her to a lot of things," Andrew Cuomo said. "You have the kids there; you have your wife there, you're coming and going, your wife is coming and going. You could expose her to the virus."

It was at that point that the governor was inspired to enact "Matilda's Law" — named after the Cuomos' mother, Matilda. The order requires New Yorkers 70 and older and those with compromised immune systems and other health conditions to "stay home and limit home visitation to immediate family members or close friends in need of emergency assistance." Andrew Cuomo enacted the order along with the "New York State on PAUSE" executive order on March 20.

"If my brother still had my mother at his would have seemed great and harmless, but now, we'd have a much different situation," Andrew Cuomo said. "Because if he's exposed, chances are she may have very well been exposed. Then we would have been looking at a very different situation than my brother sitting in his basement for two weeks."

Chris Cuomo tweeted Tuesday that he's in good spirits and will remain self-isolated at his home for two weeks in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.