New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a news conference April 14 to give an update on the state’s efforts to fight the novel coronavirus.
Watch Gov. Cuomo’s remarks in the player above.
More than 200,000 people in New York state have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and more than 10,000 people have died.
Cuomo noted that the number of hospitalizations per day due to COVID-19 are down in New York State from last week.
He expressed positivity that New Yorkers had “flattened the curve” using social distancing practices. “We should take some comfort in the fact that we have demonstrated that we can actually control the spread of the virus,” the New York governor said. He cautioned, though, that resuming normal activities too soon could worsen the rate of infection. “Everyone’s anxious to re-open. I get it, I’m anxious to re-open,” Cuomo acknowledged, but said it would need to be done so carefully, with coordination from neighboring states.
In response to President Trump’s assertion that he has “total authority” to re-open the economy, Cuomo quoted Alexander Hamilton: “the State governments possess inherent advantages, which will ever give them an influence and ascendency over the National Government.”
Cuomo took to morning TV shows earlier Tuesday to push back against President Donald Trump’s claim of “total” authority to reopen the nation’s virus-stalled economy, noting that a president is not an absolute monarch.
“We don’t have a king,” Cuomo said on NBC’s “Today. “We have a president. That was a big decision. We ran away from having a king, and George Washington was president, not King Washington. So the president doesn’t have total authority.”
The Democratic governor, whose state has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, was reacting to Trump’s assertion Monday that “when somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total.”
“Nope,” Cuomo said.
When asked on CNN’s “New Day” what he would do if the Republican president ordered him to reopen New York’s economy, Cuomo said “If he ordered me to reopen in a way that would endanger the public health of the people of my state, I wouldn’t do it. And we would have a constitutional challenge between the state and the federal government and that would go into the courts and that would be the worst possible thing he could do at this moment.”
Trump made his comments in reaction to moves by governors on both coasts Monday to form multi-state compacts to coordinate reopening society amid the global pandemic.
More than 10,000 people in New York state have died from the coronavirus, Cuomo reported Monday.