It’s usually millions watching Chris Cuomo on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, but as we all navigate the current times dealing with the coronavirus, it’s his ‘big brother’ Andrew who has people, including Cardi B, tuning in. The New York governor, son of Matilda and late governor, Mario Cuomo, keeps his residents, the tri-state area and now, much of the country informed in his daily press conferences. While sharing the facts (who doesn’t love his PowerPoints!) and updates about COVID-19, it’s his nonpartisan, motivational messages and uplifting words that resonate the most.
We also see a more personal side to the 62-year-old, who took office in 2011, as he shares stories about his three daughters Michaela, Mariah and Cara from his former marriage to Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter Kerry or opens up about his own siblings –his baby bro on the receiving end of most of the jabs, even as he continues to fight the virus himself. There is no doubt that the love he has for his family runs deep. Now more than ever, his love for his state and country is prevalent, and his extended family is looking to him to guide us out of the unknown.
Keep reading to get to know the man behind the suit and tie and see why he very well may have earned himself the title of Most Eligible Bachelor.
He’s a sole man
Andrew beams with pride when mentioning his girls. His youngest daughter Michaela, 22, sat right next to her dad during one of his press conferences. The recent Brown graduate majored in education and human development with a focus on equality. Her older sister Cara is currently working for him in helping New York find more supplies. The 25-year-old went to Harvard where she majored in government with a secondary focus in ethnicity migration and human rights. The most private of the siblings, she works for the Robert F. Kennedy human rights nonprofit. Her twin sister Mariah also went to Brown and majored in history. She works at Teneo, a global CEO consulting and advisory firm.
“This is the first time they faced a real national adversity. You have a whole new generation who have never lived through anything like this. They never went to war. They were never drafted. They never went through a national crisis and this is going to shape them,” Andrew said. “I can tell you just from having my daughters with me. Yeah, they're hurt; they're scared, but they are also learning through this and at the end of the day they're going to be better people for it and they're going be better citizens for it.”
His daughters even keep him in the know with pop culture. After Cardi B shared a post acknowledging him on Instagram, he wrote in an IG Story, “Thanks @iamcardib. My daughters tell me that getting a shoutout from you is a big deal.”
Brotherly love is an understatement
Depending on the night, Andrew may make an appearance on Chris’ daily show, and though they are there to discuss the severity of the current situation, their banter makes them the comedy duo we never knew we needed. From their arguing about who is their mom’s favorite son (Andrew also has three sisters Margaret, Madeline and Maria) to making sure Andrew even in his busiest days calls her, their back and forth never gets old.
CHRIS CUOMO: There's always time to call mom. She wants to hear from you. Just so you know.— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) March 17, 2020
ANDREW CUOMO: I called mom just before I came on this show. By the way, she said I was her favorite. Good news is she said you are her second favorite. Second favorite son, Christopher. pic.twitter.com/wogd0oP2tb
After his own diagnosis, the 49-year-old joined in on one of his daily briefings on a video chat from his basement where he has been quarantined from his own family. The governor couldn’t help but constantly bring up that fact, but it was Chris who may have won that round. “It was like out of a movie; I had hallucinations. I was seeing pop,” he said. “You came to me in a dream; you had on a very interesting ballet outfit and you were dancing in the dream and you were waving a wand and saying, ‘I wish I could wave my wand and make this go away,’ and then you spun away and you danced away.”
Andrew responded: “That’s a lot of metaphoric reality in that one. I thank you for sharing that with us, kind of you, obviously.” Noting that the fever definitely affected his brother’s “mental capacity,” he also said: “I know sometimes we joke; I'm not going to do that today. Rule one is never hit a brother when he's down and you're literally in the basement.”
Sunday dinner is the most important meal of the week
Growing up in an Italian-American family, the Cuomos would gather on the last day of the week for family dinner. It’s a tradition he tries to carry on with his daughters. “We had the big family dinner in the afternoon; it was confusing, but it was like a late lunch/they called dinner. It was spaghetti and meatballs and sausage. It was a beautiful time,” he said. “I didn’t really appreciate it as a kid but it was just beautiful. We would start to eat at 2 o’clock and it was a marathon session. The food was really just the attraction to get people together. Everyone always talks about how the Italians love the food, but really they love bringing the family together. My mother and father did it also, not that it was the same extent that my grandparents did it. I try to continue it as a father with my kids.”
CHRIS CUOMO: [Mom] taught me how to make the sauce. She didn’t teach anybody else.— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) March 31, 2020
ANDREW CUOMO: You’ve always been good at manipulation, you’ve always been the meatball of the family. … I don’t have the luxury of working one hour a day.
C: Please hang up on him now. pic.twitter.com/BSZ2lfhfcR
Don’t expect him to cook
He may love the two-three hour meal, but he also revealed he isn’t the best cook. (During one of his shows, Chris, who he calls ‘meatball,’ even admitted to being better in the kitchen and knowing their mother’s sauce recipe.) “Now, I was divorced so I’m not really the best cook to say the least. On Sundays, I would go to the Italian specialty store, and I would buy the meatballs and the sausages and the sauce. I would put it on a pot on the stove because part of it was that the sauce would sit there all day and it would simmer and you would smell it through the house,” he reminisced. “[My daughters] would never eat the sausage and the meatballs; they would pick at the pasta. They knew I couldn’t cook so the meatballs and the sausage were inherently suspect.”
The governor emphasized the need to social distance even in the parks. He explained how it pains him because he also loves a good game of basketball. In one of their daily chats, Chris made sure the audience knew who is more skilled on the court. "That's what pops said...'He is blessed in many ways, but he's got hands like bananas and he can't play ball," the host said. Andrew's response? "I’ll take you out and spank you.” On April 5, he also shared that he will be taking up running again with his daughter Cara, who already runs five miles a day. Give him time and he will be “fast like lightning.”
The Fordham University graduate also admitted to riding a motorcycle during one of his conferences. The “motorcycle enthusiast,” as written in his social media bios, owns a Harley Davidson that was customized with his term number 56 on it thanks to Orange County Choppers and often participates in parades alongside his fellow New Yorkers. He and his brother Chris also enjoy quality time together fishing. During their back and forth in the press conference, Chris noted: “You’re the only person I have ever known who fishes in all white because you have no expectation of getting any kind of fish or any kind of substance on you at any time when you fish.”
All the single ladies
After splitting from his ex-wife, Andrew started dating Food Network personality Sandra Lee. The couple were together from 2005 to 2019. In September, they released a joint statement: “Over the recent past, we have realized that our lives have gone in different directions and our romantic relationship has turned into a deep friendship. We will always be family and are fully supportive of each other and dedicated to the girls. Our personal lives remain personal and there will be no further comment.”
The governor’s sister Margaret also had released a statement at the time: “Sandy has always been a loving and generous presence in the lives of my three nieces and our entire family. We all love her dearly. She will remain a sister and extraordinary friend to me and a cherished aunt to my daughters.”
In probably one of his more epic closings on March 24, the eldest Cuomo son made sure New Yorkers knew we are in this together. "We're going to make it because I love New York, and I love New York because New York loves you. New York loves all of you,” he said. “Black and white and brown and Asian and short and tall and gay and straight. New York loves everyone. That's why I love New York. It always has, it always will. And at the end of the day, my friends, even if it is a long day, and this is a long day, love wins. Always. And it will win again through this virus. Thank you."
No, 56, thank you.