A war of words took place between New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump on Friday, and many expect it to escalate in the upcoming days further.
On Friday, Cuomo held a press conference to talk about the coronavirus pandemic — thus far, 706,309 Americans have been infected, and there are 36,607 deaths.
New York is now the epicenter of the deadly virus, with 127,352 confirmed cases and 8,893 deaths. While Cuomo was talking to reporters, Trump left his busy job of governing a country in a crisis to tweet.
The former reality TV star wrote: “Governor Cuomo should spend more time ‘doing’ and less time ‘complaining.’ Get out there and get the job done. Stop talking! We built you thousands of hospital beds that you didn’t need or use, gave large numbers of Ventilators that you should have had, and helped you with testing that you should be doing.”
He added: “….testing that you should be doing. We have given New York far more money, help, and equipment than any other state, by far, & these great men & women who did the job never hear you say thanks. Your numbers are not good. Less talk and more action!”
A reporter shared Trump’s comments with Cuomo, who did not hold back, and hit back: “First of all, if he’s sitting at home watching TV, maybe he should get up and go to work, right? Second, let’s keep emotion and politics out of this and personal ego, if we can, because this is about the people, and it’s about our job, and let’s try to focus on that.”
Cuomo added: “If he didn’t really believe 2,500 beds was necessary, I don’t believe the federal government would have helped build 2,500 beds, and the number came from a projection from him. Him. So he should read the reports he issues. The White House Coronavirus Task Force had… projected in the millions of people. The CDC, which is the President, projected in the millions of people. The projections were high. They were the President’s projections. So for him to say to anyone, ‘Well, you relied on projections, and the projections were wrong,’ they’re your projections, Mr. President. So, were we foolish for relying on your projections, Mr. President?” he continued. “CDC, Coronavirus White House Task Force, that’s you. White House, that’s you. We relied on your projections.”
Cuomo then revealed: “But don’t suggest that anyone made a mistake relying on your projections. What am I supposed to do? Send a bouquet of flowers? They were very helpful on Javits, they were very helpful on setting the U.S. Navy ship Comfort, they were very helpful in intervening with China and getting PPE equipment out of China. They were very helpful in helping us find ventilators. I said thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Now, going forward, we are still in the midst of it.”
The Democrat shared: “The President doesn’t want to help on testing… I said, the one issue we need help with is testing. He said 11 times, ‘I don’t want to get involved in testing, it’s too complicated, it’s too hard.’ I know it’s too complicated and so hard, that’s why we need you to help. I can’t do an international supply chain,” the governor explained. “He wants to say, ‘Well, I did enough.’ Yeah, none of us have done enough. We haven’t, because it’s not over. So, yes, thank you for the Javits, thank you for the U.S. Navy ship Comfort, but it’s not over. We have a lot more to do.”
He went on to explain what he has been doing for New Yorkers: “What if I said to the people of my state, ‘Okay, I’m done. By the way, I saved hundreds of thousands of lives, I flattened the curve, I created more hospital beds than anyone ever imagined, I coordinated the entire state, I’m done. I’m done, I’m going home. I’m going to go see my mother, I’m going to go spend time with my kids, and I’m going to go out fishing in Connecticut because their marinas are open. That’s it, and I’m done.’ What if I said that?” Cuomo questioned. “That’s what he’s saying. ‘I’m done, I don’t want to help on testing, testing is too hard.’”
Cuomo continued by saying: “It was always up to the states. What, are you going to grant me what the Constitution gave me before you were born? It’s called the 10th Amendment. I didn’t need the President of the United States to tell me that I’m governor, and I didn’t need the President of the United States to tell me the powers of a state. People did that. Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison. They are the ones who gave me the power, and I don’t need the President of the United States to read the Constitution for me,” he concluded. “Maybe he should have read the Constitution before he said he had the power to open the states.”
The crisis is creating tension left and right.