Trump says Cuomo needs to 'do more' after coronavirus call with governors

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties MORE on Monday chided New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoDomestic violence is a public health problem that governors should address Reopening schools seen as vital step in pandemic recovery Chicago mayor issues emergency travel advisory for those coming from states with coronavirus surges MORE (D) following a call with governors across the country on the coronavirus, saying the New York governor "has to 'do more.'"

The president swiped at Cuomo in a tweet in which he declared that the teleconference "went very well."

Cuomo, who has at times been sharply critical of the administration's handling of the pandemic, quickly hit back, tweeting that Trump is the one who is "supposed to be the president."


The New York Times reported that Trump told governors on the call that they should take the initiative to try getting ventilators, respirators and other critical equipment independently amid concerns about nationwide shortages if the number of cases spikes.


Trump otherwise was upbeat on the call, the Times reported, repeating that he was optimistic about the U.S. quickly addressing the virus.

The president has occasionally struggled to stay on message during the coronavirus outbreak. Over the weekend, he tweeted criticism of Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Public awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names MORE (D-N.Y.), talked about potentially pardoning his former national security adviser and blamed the media for confusion over a Google-backed website providing information on coronavirus tests.

Governors have emerged as the leading policy-setters in responding to the coronavirus, which as infected more than 3,000 Americans and killed roughly 70 in the U.S. thus far. State leaders have directed bars and restaurants to close down and shuttered schools in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

Cuomo has been particularly prominent, holding regular press briefings and appearing on television to lay out New York state's policies. He has hit the federal government over its slow response and urged the president to take more decisive action to increase states' ability to combat the virus.

Cuomo wrote in a New York Times op-ed published Sunday that Trump should mobilize the Army Corps of Engineers to help states build temporary medical centers. He encouraged the president to give states broader autonomy over coronavirus testing and issue a federal directive on closing businesses to avoid inconsistencies across state lines. 

"I make these suggestions not as a Democrat but as one of the nation’s most senior governors and a former cabinet secretary who knows the capacity of the federal government," Cuomo wrote. "We have had disagreements about your actions against New York, which we can pursue at another time. Today, let’s work together as Americans. Time is short."

—Updated at 2:33 p.m.