Gov: Don ‘in denial’ over virus
Hits feds’ hands-off stance
Gov. Cuomo accused President Trump and top White House officials of being “in denial” about the coronavirus outbreak.
“They’re saying what they said three months ago,” the governor said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “They’re basically in denial about the problem. They don’t want to tell the American people the truth.”
The comments came as coronavirus cases are surging throughout the country and as New York City readied to enter Phase 3 of its reopening as soon as July 6.
The country had about 40,000 confirmed new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest number to date.
The Empire State had 869 people hospitalized for the virus and five new fatalities on Saturday — the lowest numbers since the outbreak began — according to the governor’s office.
There were 616 new positive cases, bringing the state’s total to 392,539. The number of fatalities was 24,835.
“I’m diligent about staying after New Yorkers and local governments that have to police it,” Cuomo said, discussing the numbers.
“I’m now afraid of the spread coming from other states because we are one country, and people travel, and I’m afraid the infection rate in the other states will come back to New York and raise that rate again,” he added.
Last week, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced they would require anyone traveling from coronavirus hotspots like Florida and Texas to selfquarantine for 14 days or receive steep fines.
Cuomo slammed the White House for effectively telling states, in the governor’s words, “You’re on your own.”
“It’s not a good feeling, but it’s sort of liberating,” he said.
“This is a virus, it doesn’t respond to politics,” Cuomo continued. “You can’t tweet at it; you have to treat it. And we never did that.”
The governor also went on the defensive about deaths in nursing homes, which he ordered to accept COVID-positive residents, provided they could do so safely, in the spring.
“I’ve taken political heat,” he said, adding that New York ranked 46 out of all states in a New York Times ranking of places with the highest percentage of nursing home deaths.
“You have 45 other states to point fingers at first,” Cuomo added. “You could argue that they are safer than a senior citizen at home, who is receiving care at home.”
Looking ahead, the governor said school reopening was still up in the air. The state has yet to release guidance on the issue.
“We’re preparing to open schools. We have plans to open schools,” Cuomo said. “It’s two months away. Anything can happen in two months.
“I want to see what the infection rate is and what the disease is doing before we pull the trigger and make the decision,” he added.
Gov. Cuomo on Sunday criticized President Trump’s efforts on the coronavirus.