New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addresses re-opening the economy during coronavirus press conference.
Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Trump clashed Friday after Cuomo demanded the president provide the funding necessary for the state to reopen the economy amid the coronavirus ciris, warning not to “pass the buck without passing the bucks.”
During a press conference on Friday, Cuomo discussed the president’s set of guidelines titled “Opening up America Again,” which passes the decision on when to move to each phase to governors and local officials.
“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 Friday. ”That is passing the buck without passing the bucks.”
“Don’t ask the states to do this without the funding,” Cuomo said Friday, adding that putting the onus on the states without the funding necessary to have a successful reopening is “the opposite of the buck stops here.”
He added: “Don’t pass the buck without passing the bucks.”
Cuomo noted that more federal funding is needed for hospitals as his state grapples with its status as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
The president fired back on Twitter minutes later, slamming the governor for “complaining.”
“Governor Cuomo should spend more time ‘doing’ and less time ‘complaining’. Get out there and get the job done. Stop talking!” Trump tweeted Friday touting his administration’s efforts in New York.
“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,” Trump continued. “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.”
He added: “Less talk and more action!”
The back-and-forth Friday came as the latest escalation of the clash between Trump and Cuomo this week after the two sparred over who is ultimately responsible for reopening the economy, the states or the federal government.
Trump said at a Monday press briefing that he has “total” authority over this. But Cuomo told CNN on Tuesday morning that if Trump ordered states to reopen before he is ready to do so, he would defy the order and fight the administration in court.
As Trump raged against the Democratic governor on Twitter earlier this week, Cuomo used his daily briefing later in the morning to give Trump a history lecture, quoting Alexander Hamilton in saying it was up to states to determine what happens within their respective borders, and that the president cannot control them through “federal encroachments” that undermine states’ rights.
“We don’t have a king in this country,” Cuomo said. “We didn’t want a king, so we have a Constitution, and we elect a president.”
The feud began with a series of TV interviews by Cuomo.
“If he ordered me to reopen in a way that would endanger the public health of the people of my state, I wouldn’t do it,” Cuomo told CNN earlier Tuesday morning. “And we would have a constitutional challenge between the state and the federal government and that would go into the courts and that would be the worst possible thing he could do at this moment.”
The fight escalated and expanded quickly from there, with Trump first blasting Cuomo for seeking “Independence” and then likening the tensions with numerous states to a “mutiny.”
“Tell the Democrat Governors that ‘Mutiny On The Bounty’ was one of my all time favorite movies. A good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch, especially when the mutineers need so much from the Captain. Too easy!” he tweeted.
That phase of the Trump-Cuomo war-of-words ended Thursday when the president announced the plans to reopen the economy, which explictly give the discretion to states and localities as to when to implement each phase of the guidelines.
Meanwhile, Cuomo announced Friday he would sign an executive order requiring private and public labs to work together with New York’s Department of Public Health in coordination to increase testing capabilities.
Cuomo’s comments come after he extended his New York PAUSE executive order through May 15, keeping nonessential businesses closed and nonessential workers at home in an effort to further curb the spread of the virus in the state.
Cuomo also issued an executive order this week requiring all New Yorkers to wear face masks or coverings in public places—an order that went into effect Friday.
As of Friday, New York reported more than 223,600 positive cases of COVID-19 and has seen more than 14,800 deaths.
The U.S., on Friday, reported more than 671,400 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and more than 33,280 deaths.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.