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Chris Cuomo slams Trump calling himself a 'cheerleader': 'Most asinine statement of leadership'

CNN host Chris CuomoChris CuomoMedia and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk Clyburn: 'We're teetering on' giving president 'authority to be dictator' The 'Anonymous' saga ended with a dud — a perfect example of the problem of Trump-era media MORE on Tuesday slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE for justifying his initial downplaying of the novel coronavirus outbreak by calling himself a "cheerleader " for the U.S.

Cuomo, who is in recovery after contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, last week, said on "Cuomo PrimeTime" that Trump's remark was the "most asinine statement of leadership" he's ever heard. 

"Stop ignoring the facts for political advantage. Get real," Cuomo said.

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Asked during a White House briefing earlier Tuesday about remarks he made in February in which he suggested the virus would quickly disappear, Trump argued that he didn't want to create panic because he's a "cheerleader" for the nation. 

"The cases really didn’t build up for a while," he said. "You have to understand, I’m a cheerleader for this country. I don’t want to create havoc and shock. I’m not going to go out and start screaming 'this could happen, this could happen.'"

"That’s exactly what leadership is," Cuomo said on his show after playing a clip of the comments. "Anybody can tell people what they want to hear, and make it easy. And then you know what you get? Exactly where we are right now."

"That was the most asinine statement of leadership I have ever heard," he continued, adding that he couldn't dismiss the remarks as stemming from the president having a fever like he has. 

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"That is clear thinking from him. 'I’m a cheerleader, so I’m going to lie to you about the realities that your parents, your loved ones and your kids face,'" Cuomo said. "'I’m not going to prepare the way I should because it reinforces the bullshit I’m telling you, and I’m going to hope that you’re OK with it.'"

"We’ve got to do better than that. This president must do better than that," Cuomo added, before arguing that the U.S. must consistently demand the truth from the administration about the outbreak. 

The comments from Cuomo come as the number of confirmed cases and deaths from the virus in the United States continue to climb. The U.S. has reported nearly 400,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and roughly 12,900 deaths caused by it, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. 

Trump has faced continued scrutiny over the administration's response to the outbreak, as many governors and state officials voice fears about a lack of testing and needed medical equipment. Trump has, meanwhile, blamed China and the World Health Organization (WHO) for not being forthcoming about how the virus was spreading early on. 

Cuomo announced last week that he had been infected with the virus. He's continued to host his late-night program from home, often describing the symptoms he's experiencing. 

"The body aches and the tremors and the concern about not being able to do anything about it, I totally get why so many are so scared all over this country," Cuomo said on his program last week