New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking to his late father for help. As the 62-year-old politician tried to steer his state in the right direction through the powerful storms of a global pandemic and civil unrest over police brutality, he said he can hear his dad's words echoing in his head, helping him navigate the difficult waters.
Cuomo recently sat down with Good Morning America's Amy Robach, as the coronavirus crisis passed the 100-day mark, and he opened up about looking to his late father Mario Cuomo -- who also served as the Governor of New York for three terms from 1983 to 1994 -- for guidance.
"There were many nights when I would get in bed and I couldn't sleep, and I would just be staring at the ceiling. I would say to myself, 'What would he say?'" Cuomo shared. "And I could hear his voice. I knew what he would say."
According to Cuomo, having that knowledge and that connection "gave me a lot of comfort and a lot of guidance."
"My father's spirit lives in me," Cuomo added. "I know what he would say. I know his advice. I know his principles. It does live in me and I can get in touch. I can think about that and ask myself, 'What would he be saying to me right now?'"
As for what he feels his father would tell him to do: "He said, 'Take responsibility, don't run from it. Be accountable. Stand up... Tell the people the truth and trust them that, with the truth, they will do the right thing.'"
As the death and infection rates have begun to decline in New York, and the state has started to slowly but surely reopen, Cuomo is looking back to see how far the state has come.
"We went from the worst infection rate [in the nation] to the best infection rate," Cuomo shared, before shooting down critics who said that his decision to gradually close the state back in March was the wrong way to handle the pandemic.
"No one really knew what they were talking about when this COVID crisis started," Cuomo argued. "We were all told that the virus was coming from China. Turns out the virus came from Europe and that's why New York had such a bad situation initially -- because no one was stopping the flights from Europe… It was just a terrible blunder, frankly."
While things are looking better for the state -- as well as for several other states that had previously been hit the hardest by the virus -- Cuomo said there's still no way to tell how the situation is going to play out.
"Anybody who tells you what's going to happen in September? I wouldn't believe them," he said.
Meanwhile, while he has faced his share of critics, there has been an overwhelming amount of love and support for the governor -- as well as his brother, CNN newsman Chris Cuomo. Many fans of the pair have famously taken up the moniker "cuomosexuals," which the governor has laughed off repeatedly.
While Cuomo said having a new, vocal fan base is "nice," he also acknowledges that "it is what it is."
"I've been around long enough to take everything with a grain of salt. You take the positive with a grain of salt, you take the negative with a grain of salt," Cuomo shared. "But to the extent that people relied on me through this – that, I'm very grateful for."
Cuomo himself has been largely remaining in quarantine and socially distancing when in public, which means he hasn't been able to reconnect much with his family during these times -- especially his mother, Matilda.
"I haven't hugged my mom since this started," he shared. "I miss that."
"I don't think she misses it," he quipped with a laugh. "But I miss it!"
For more on Cuomo's elevated popularity and vocal fanbase, which has emerged amid his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, check out the video below.