Gov. Andrew Cuomo's daily briefings are coming to an end, but their impact on the pandemic is expected to live on — especially for New Yorkers who drew all sorts of inspiration from them.
"Someone said to me they were concerned because she relied on me to know what was happening," Cuomo said Friday during a televised address. "I will still do what I do, we just don't have to do it every day. And that's a good thing."
And with that, Cuomo's streak of 111 straight daily briefings ended. Among those who watched was comic Maria DeCotis, who couldn't help but find something funny about Cuomo's more personal quirks that went on display.
"What drew me to it initially was definitely that he's like this bumbling Italian dad and I come from an Italian family, so it's just a very familiar character for me," DeCotis said in an interview. "So, anything like that just comes very naturally to me."
DeCotis became a Twitter celebrity in New York, posting videos of her lipsynching to Cuomo's briefings. Some of her videos were viewed more than one million times poking fun at the governor -- including one lampooning Cuomo's meandering discussion about his daughter's boyfriend.
"He said the words 'I like the boyfriend' way too many times for him to actually like the boyfriend," DeCotis said.
And then there was the time Cuomo talked about walking his dog with his daughter Michaela. For DeCotis, it was comedic inspiration.
The briefings were largely serious events, featuring often bad news about hospitalizations and the daily death toll. For people stuck at home, they became part of the daily routine of life interrupted by the pandemic.
DeCotis says she learned a lot from the briefings, even as she poked fun at them.
And DeCotis says that even if they are no longer happening on a daily basis, there's still plenty of material she can draw on from the four months of Cuomo briefings.
"If we do this then we will keep the rate of infection down. He was just telling you the facts and that's what people needed," she said.