State Watch

Cuomo: There will be a ‘constitutional crisis’ if Trump tries to reopen country and states oppose him

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) warned Monday that a “constitutional crisis” would occur if President Trump ordered state governors to reopen their economies before eliminating a public health risk amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Cuomo said that creating a dispute with governors would be the only thing Trump could do to make the current situation worse as health officials around the country try to prevent the virus’s spread.

“Really, the only way this situation gets worse is if the president creates a constitutional crisis,” Cuomo responded when asked about a scenario in which Trump ordered governors to publicly reopen nonessential businesses.

“If he says to me ‘I declare it open’ and that is a public health risk, or it’s reckless with the welfare of the people of my state, I will oppose it,” the governor added.

The remarks are some of Cuomo’s strongest in opposition to Trump’s talk about reopening the economy in the weeks or days ahead, a proposition that seemed to accelerate Monday with the announcement of a White House task force focused on the issue.

Earlier Tuesday the governor told NBC’s “Today” that the power to reopen state economies clearly sat with their governors as defined by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that powers not clearly designated to the federal government fall instead to the states.

“I don’t know what the president is talking about, frankly,” Cuomo said. “We have a Constitution, the Constitution is based on a balance of powers.”

“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 added.

The president claimed authority on the issue in a Monday tweet, saying that a plan to reopen the nation’s economy “in conjunction” with the nation’s governors would be released soon.

“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!”

Tags Andrew Cuomo Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump

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