NEW YORK (AP) —
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday pushed back against President Donald Trump’s claim of “total” authority to reopen the nation’s virus-stalled economy, but also insisted “the president will have no fight with me.”
“We don’t have a king in this country. We didn’t want a king, so we have a Constitution and we elect a president,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing.
The Democratic governor, whose state has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, was reacting to Trump’s assertion Monday that “when somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total.”
Cuomo said restarting the economy must be done in a smart, methodical manner or the hard-won gains of the past month could be lost.
Cuomo referenced critical tweets by Trump and said “the president is clearly spoiling for a fight on this issue.” But he said being politically divisive right now would be harmful.
“The president will have no fight with me,” he said. “I will not engage it.”
Cuomo’s been calling daily, even hourly, begging for everything, most of which should have been the state’s responsibility, such as new hospitals, beds, ventilators, etc. I got it all done for him, and everyone else, and now he seems to want Independence! That won’t happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2020
New York has finally been seeing relief from the steep rise in hospitalizations of recent weeks, though deaths continue to rise alarmingly fast. The state recorded 778 new deaths Monday, for a total of 10,834 in about a month.
Trump made his comments in reaction to moves by governors on both coasts Monday to form multi-state compacts to coordinate reopening society amid the global pandemic.