On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who has been widely criticized for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in his state, which has seen by far the most deaths from the virus in the country — attacked not only the Trump administration, calling its actions vis-à-vis the virus the “worst government blunder in modern history,” but also Florida, Arizona, and Texas for opening their economies.
Cuomo started by insisting the United States needs to “hit the reset button …it has to start with the President telling the American people the truth.”
Cuomo accused President Donald Trump of consistently lying to the American people and encouraging them not to take the virus seriously. Then he stated that governors who had opened their economies made a mistake.
“The president of the United States said five months ago, ‘Reopen the economy. Liberate the states. Liberate the economy. These governors are slow walking reopening. They’re just playing politics. That’s what they’re doing. There’s no reason not to reopen the economy. Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up.’ Florida jumps, Texas jumps, Arizona jumps, ‘Yes, we’re just going to reopen the economy.'” That was a mistake,” said Cuomo.
The states Cuomo slammed have had far lower total numbers of cases and deaths from the coronavirus over the course of the pandemic. Florida, which has a Republican governor, has had one-fifth the mortality rate of New York.
Cuomo also complained that other states had ignored the lessons learned in New York, saying that New York had been “ambushed.”
“It was a mistake to see what we had to do here in New York — the testing, the hospital system, the contact tracing, the closed down, the phased reopening — and pay no attention to it. No attention to it,” he said. “We’re six months later — these states still don’t have testing and contact tracing. How can it be? You had six months — here in New York we had two weeks. We were ambushed because the virus came from Europe and nobody told us.”
The governor claimed the reason the states had not prepared properly was because “they were listening to the president.”
“This was a colossal blunder, how Covid was handled by this federal government — colossal blunder,” he declared. “Shame on all of you. Six months, lives lost.”
“Every American knows he made a mistake,” he said of Trump. “Every American knows this was the worst government blunder in modern history.”
Cuomo used the Vietnam War analogy: “Not since the Vietnam War have Americans sat in their living room to see the numbers on the TV screen every night saying what a mistake it was. During the Vietnam War, every night you saw the death toll. You saw the injury toll on TV. Every night they’ve seen this virus increasing all across the country and the death toll going up.”
“I trust the people of New York. I told them the truth,” he claimed. “I told them the facts. I never sugarcoated. I never shielded. I told him the truth, so they knew what to do and they did it. That’s what we call being New York tough and smart and united and disciplined and loving. They should try it in Washington.”