Trump and Cuomo spar over coronavirus response
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that states need funding from the federal government to ramp up testing and restart their economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. He called out President Trump for the federal government’s lack of financial support to the states while simultaneously urging them to reopen their economies.
“The federal government has passed three bills to address this crisis. Of those three bills, the state governments have gotten precisely zero, zilch, nada in unrestricted aid,” Cuomo said at his daily press conference. “It doesn’t work. We need financial resources to stabilize the states.”
“That is passing the buck without passing the bucks,” he added.
President Trump appeared to be watching, and responded to the governor’s criticism on Twitter during the briefing.
“Governor Cuomo should spend more time ‘doing’ and less time ‘complaining’. Get out there and get the job done. Stop talking!” the president wrote.
“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. 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!”
In response, Cuomo said the hospital beds that were added in New York were based on a projection from the president.
“They’re your projections, Mr. President,” he said. “So were we foolish for relying on your projections?”
He said “because we worked together, we flattened the curve and we didn’t hit the projection.”
Cuomo also asked “how many times” he had to thank the president for doing his job. “Thank you for participating in a modicum of federal responsibility in a national crisis,” he said.
“This is an important moment,” Cuomo said. “He’s saying he doesn’t want to provide funding to the states.”
In recent weeks, Cuomo and Mr. Trump have clashed repeatedly but also have said they’re working closely to respond to the crisis. On Tuesday, Cuomo said he looked “forward to working with the president in partnership and cooperation, but he has no fight here. I won’t let it happen.”
“And look, unless he suggested that we do something that would be reckless and endanger the health or welfare of the people of the state, then I would have no choice. But shy of that, I put my hand out to say: Let’s do this together.”
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