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Stories and information in our region on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cuomo Takes Off The Gloves In Response To Trump Critique

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo; President Donald Trump
Seth Wenig, Cuomo; Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Trump
/
AP
N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump argued Tuesday morning over who has the legal authority to reopen schools and businesses. The president reengaged with the governor Friday morning, live tweeting criticism of Cuomo's daily briefing.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he is mandating in an executive order that private labs in New York State work together to develop testing for the coronavirus. He says he needs the federal government to coordinate and scale up testing to allow the economy to reopen sooner, but so far that is not occurring. 

And Cuomo had some choice words for President Donald Trump, after Trump live tweeted criticism of Cuomo’s daily briefing.

Cuomo continues to press for more monetary aide from the federal government. The governor wrote a joint letter to the President and Congress with Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, asking for $5 billion to help state governments pay for coping with the crisis.  

President Trump said Thursday that it’s up to the states to determine when to reopen businesses and lift stay at home orders. Cuomo says if states are doing all the work, then they need the funds to help them.

During the governor’s briefing, which often run 40 minutes to an hour in length, Trump live tweeted that Cuomo “should spend more time ‘doing’ and less time ‘complaining.’” The president also said that the federal government already gave New York hospital beds and ventilators that went unused.

Cuomo, who earlier in the week said Trump was spoiling for a fight, but that he chose not to argue with the president, was clearly angered by the needling.

“If he’s sitting home watching TV, maybe he should get up and go to work,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo has repeatedly credited Trump and his administration for providing additional beds and ventilators, saying the reason that they did not need to be fully used, is that New Yorkers cooperated with stay at home orders, and flattened the curve of the infection. But he says the federal government is just doing what it’s supposed to do in crisis.   

“Thank you for participating in a modicum of federal responsibility in a national crisis,” Cuomo said.

And the governor says the reason why he asked for the additional beds and equipment, was because the CDC projected that they would be needed. He suggested, sarcastically, that the president should revise his role on the TV series “The Apprentice” and “fire” the head of the CDC, as well as leaders of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.  

Cuomo says he’s frustrated because he fears that without the federal government helping to coordinate the testing that’s needed to reopen the economy, there will be a repeat of the chaos during the first phase of the pandemic, when he says the federal government was unprepared and hospitals struggled for beds and personal protective equipment.

“This is an important moment,” Cuomo said. “If we don’t have federal help on testing that’s a real problem, and I’m not going to go through the chaos that was created last time.”

Cuomo addressed other issues in the briefing, as well. There have been complaints from families with relatives in nursing homes that they have been unable to get information about their health conditions, or whether there is Covid-19 in the facility. The governor says he is now ordering nursing homes to disclose that information to families.  

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.

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Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.
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