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

President Trump on Monday chided New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (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 Schumer (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.

Tags Andrew Cuomo Charles Schumer Coronavirus Donald Trump New York

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