Cuomo unveils 'self-portrait of America': A wall of hundreds of protective masks

Cuomo unveils 'self-portrait of America': A wall of hundreds of protective masks
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New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York City delays plan to restart indoor dining, citing coronavirus outbreaks across the country Watch live: Gov. Cuomo holds press briefing The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE (D) during his press briefing on Wednesday revealed a collage of face masks that people from all over the country have sent to his office amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a self-portrait of America,” Cuomo said pointing to the wall of masks. “You what know it spells? It spells love."

The governor, who has gained national attention for his nearly-daily press briefings on the pandemic, said his office has received thousands of masks and personal notes from people across the country as a show of support. The Empire State has been the state hardest hit by virus, with over 295,000 confirmed cases and more than 17,000 deaths, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

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"This is what this country is about and this is what Americans are about," Cuomo said. "A little bit more of this and a little bit less of the partisanship and the ugliness and this country would be a better place.”

Cuomo, the vice-chairman of the National Governors Association, has sparred with lawmakers in Washington about federal funding for states and local governments. Congress's latest coronavirus stimulus package, among other things, provided money for hospitals and more funds for testing, but didn't directly give aid to states or municipalities.

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Earlier in the briefing, Cuomo continued a back-and-forth with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFormer HUD Secretary: Congress 'should invest 0B in direct rental assistance' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated House approves .5T green infrastructure plan MORE (R-Ky.). In response to Cuomo's continued requests for more state aid, McConnell last week suggested that states could declare bankruptcy, prompting Cuomo to point out that states can't legally declare bankruptcy.

Cuomo on Wednesday said that New York contributes $29 billion more to the federal government than it receives, while Kentucky — McConnell's home state — receives $37 billion more than it gives.

"Mitch McConnell and his partisan brigade are dividing our country," Cuomo tweeted during the briefing. "Their not-so-subtle message is: The states with more COVID cases don't deserve help from the states with fewer cases b/c they are Democrats. This is ugly and reprehensible — it's also wrong on the facts."