New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is once again taking on the federal government over its handling of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As many southern and western states see spikes in COVID-19 cases after reopening economies, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey continue to see cases of the virus dropping dramatically, and the three have imposed mandatory 14-day quarantines on visitors from states with the highest infection rates, including Florida, Texas and Arizona.
According to Johns Hopkins University, New York currently has the lowest seven-day average infection rate in the country, after being a hotbed for the virus when the pandemic first came to the United States from China and Europe.
While Cuomo held daily COVID-19 briefings daily or more than 100 days when the pandemic first starting spreading, the White House’s coronavirus Task Force held a briefing for the first time in months on Friday, June 26, led by Vice President Mike Pence.
“The White House Coronavirus Task Force I think, I don't know what they're going to say, I have no idea, but I think it's been a loss to the American people that they haven't been briefing and they haven't been giving facts,” Cuomo said in a conference call with reporters. “I think what we see now clearly from across the nation is we did not have an intelligent way to deal with this virus.
“That is inarguable,” he added. “‘Well, you are Democrat. That is just what you say because you are a Democrat.”'
“No, just look at the facts. Forget the politics. To the extent that we are still capable of having a rational conversation, let's depoliticize it,” he said. “Let's just deal with facts because the politics so changed the conversation, and when you put it in political terms, people don't know who to believe. There are still facts and there is still data.”
Cuomo said that “it has been clear there was no national leadership,” while making note that states largely acted on projections and guidance that came from the federal government.
“It is now clear that to the extent people followed what was coming from the White House, it was wrong,” he said.
“Where was their strategy to have an intelligent reopening that would avoid catastrophe? Where was the national strategy? Where was the national leadership? It did not exist,” he added. “And to the extent it did it was wrong, and that is what they are going to have to explain to the American people.”
According to Cuomo, the federal government’s handling of the pandemic, while attempting to jumpstart the economy, has actually wound up hurting instead.
“You have definitive evidence. Forget the words. Forget the hype. Just look at the evidence,” the governor said. “And the reason I am pushing this point so hard is until we are willing to get smart and look at facts and look at science, this virus is going to kill more people. And it is wreaking havoc on the economy."
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