Some were shocked when Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a mural of protective masks that he says is a "self-portrait of America."

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On Wednesday, at the end of his COVID-19 briefing, Cuomo unveiled a mural of donated masks sent to his office from people across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We received thousands of masks from all across America, unsolicited, in the mail, homemade, creative, personal with beautiful notes from all across the country," Cuomo said. "This is what this country is about, and this is what Americans are about. A little bit more of this and a little bit less of the ugliness and the partisanship, and this country will be a better place."

Cuomo also called the wall "a self-portrait of America,” and added it spells "love."

"NY has received hundreds of donated masks from all around the country, from red states and blue states," Cuomo tweeted. "They were sent because Americans are unified and generous and kind. Our politicians should aspire to be at least half as good as the American people."

If you check out social media, the reaction was mixed.

Some wondered why the masks were used as a prop:

  • 'Wouldn’t it make more sense to, sanitize the masks and distribute them to those in need?" Shannon Melero wondered in an article for Jezebel.
  • "Weren’t they sent with the intention of being used, and not as a prop?" Nick Niedzwiadek tweeted.

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While others loved the show of support for New York:

  • "As one of the mask making women (for family) all across America I’m more than ok with the “prop”. In fact i’m thrilled with this exhibit. Because that’s what it is," AlbanyMuskrat tweeted.
  • "Love. This is what this country is about," Tom Bingham said.
  • "That was awesome! Really got me in the feels," Mare tweeted.

The governor's office says the masks on the mural will be donated.

"These are handmade cloth masks. We have more than 7 million of them from Haynes and others we’ve been distributing to county OEMs to distribute to vulnerable populations. We plan to find good homes 4 these as well," Gov. Cuomo's spokesman Rich Azzopardi said on Twitter.

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