Cuomo calls Fauci, himself the Pacino and De Niro of COVID-19 era

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made Dr. Anthony Fauci an offer he couldn’t refuse Monday — anointing them the Al Pacino and Robert De Niro of the COVID-19 era.

Cuomo compared himself and the nation’s top infectious-disease doctor to the “Godfather’’ Mafia-character actors at a press conference — where Fauci warned that January has the potential to be “a really dark time’’ for the country amid the pandemic.

“Without substantial mitigation, the middle of January could be a really dark time for us,’’ Fauci said — finally getting a word in edgewise after he was forced to watch silently on camera for nearly 20 minutes while Cuomo spoke first.

Fauci said even New York’s limit of 10 people at gatherings “may even be a bit too much.

“It’s not only the number … but it’s the people who might be coming from out of town,’’ the doctor said.

Cuomo — whose TV-host brother, Chris Cuomo, was once ridiculed by a hater as being hapless “Godfather” character Fredo — later joked to Fauci, a native of Bensonhurt, Brooklyn, that he and the doctor “are like a modern-day De Niro and Pacino.

“You can be whichever one you want,’’ the governor quipped.

A laughing Fauci replied, “I love them both’’ while refusing to say which one he would prefer to be.

“I don’t want to hurt the feelings of one or the other,’’ the doctor added jokingly.

When Cuomo asked him what food he missed most from the old neighborhood, Fauci responded, “Whenever I need some comfort food and I dream back to the days of Bensonhurst … a nice Nathan’s hot dog and a really steaming pastrami sandwich.’’

Cuomo asked, laughing, “OK, so no cannolis, no meatballs.’’

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