Andrew Cuomo: Trump 'just wrong' on power to reopen states

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoZeldin says he's in remission after treatment for leukemia Letitia James holding private talks on running for New York governor: report Governors brace for 2022 after year in pandemic spotlight MORE (D) on Tuesday said that President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE is wrong in claiming the president has the authority to reopen businesses in states rather than governors. 

“I don't know what the president is talking about, frankly,” Cuomo said in an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show. “We have a Constitution; the Constitution is based on a balance of powers.”

Cuomo cited the 10th Amendment, which states that powers not delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people. 

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“The president doesn't have total authority. The Constitution is there, the 10th Amendment is there, number of cases over the years, it's very clear. States have power by the 10th Amendment, and the president is just wrong on that point,” Cuomo said.

New York is the U.S. state hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with the state health department reporting 195,031 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 10,056 deaths. 

Asked about a time frame on lifting restrictions, Cuomo said he doesn’t have one and said “if anybody tells you they do, they don't understand the issue ahead of us.” 

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“This is all uncharted territory. You have to feel the way it goes, you have to start to reopen with a plan, an informed plan that actually improves on the situation and learns the lessons,” Cuomo said on “Today.” 

“If we don't do it gradually and controlled, you'll see the viruses go up, and that would be a terrible shame — and then we'd have to start all over again,” he added. 

Trump said on Monday that he had the ultimate authority to loosen restrictions states had put in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. 

“It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue,” Trump tweeted. “A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”

He later said at a briefing Monday that “numerous provisions” of the Constitution give him such authority, but did not name them. 

Legal experts who spoke to The Hill said Trump can issue federal regulations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus but he does not have the authority to reverse a public health restriction put in place at the state or local level. 

Nearly every state has put in place stay-at-home orders in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus.