Coronavirus US: Andrew Cuomo seethes thanks to Trump

Reporter: It appears the president is also watching this press conference. He tweeted 13 minutes ago. ‘Governor Cuomo should spend more time doing and less time complaining. Get out there and get the job done. Stop talking! We built you thousands of hospital beds that you didn’t need or use, gave large numbers of Ventilators that you should have had, and helped you with testing that you should be doing.’ It goes on a little bit more. So wondering if you could respond to that and also the question about the overwhelmed ICUs.


Good. Let’s respond to the President.

First of all, if he’s sitting home watching TV, maybe he should get up and go to work, right.

Seoncd, let’s keep emotion and politics out of this and personal ego if we can because this is about the people and our job and let’s try to focus on that.

I have said repeatedly that when we were fighting for the additional capacity for our hospital system, that the president moved very quicky and I applauded him for it and he brought the Army Corps of Engineers and he brought them up to build the Javits Center capacity. Twenty-five hundred beds.

He’s wrong it hasn’t been used. About 800 people have gone through Javits.

To dismiss 800 people is disrespectful, but we didn’t use 2,500 beds because we didn’t reach the capacity.

When he says ‘well we built it, we didn’t need it’ it sounds like, the suggestion is, well it was request by the state that wasn’t valid. If he didn’t really believe 2,500 beds was necessary, I dont believe the federal government would have built the 2,500 beds.

And the number came from a projection from him. Him. So he should read the reports he issues.

The White House coronavirus task force had enormous, projected in the millions of people.

The CDC – which is the president – projected in the millions of people. So the projections were high. They were the president’s projections.

So for him to say to anyone, well you relied on projections and the projections were wrong, they’re your projections, Mr. president.

So were we foolish for relying on your projections Mr. President? CDC? Coronavirus task force? That’s you. We relied on your projections. OK, shouldn’t have relied on your projections.

Actually, I think the president has a better argument: yes we should have built 2,500 beds because the projection said it could get that bad and because we worked together, we flattened the curve and we didn’t hit the projection – which is actually what happened.

But don’t suggest that anyone made a mistake relying on your projections, or on Cornell, Columbia, McKinsey, etc.

Second, I have said on a number of times – I don’t know, what am I supposed to do, send a bouquet of flowers? – they were very helpful on Javits, they were very helpful sending US Navy Ship Comfort, they were on very helpful in intervening with China and getting PPE equipment out of China. They were very helpful in helping us find ventilators. I said ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’

Now, going forward, we’re still in the midst of it. The president doesn’t want to help on testing. I said eleven times, I said the one issue we need help with is testing.

He said 11 times i dont want to get involved in testing, it’s too complicated, it’s too hard.

I know it’s too complicated and too hard. That’s why we need help. I can’t do an international supply chain.

He wants to say: ‘Well I did enough.’ Yeah, none of us have done enough. We haven’t, because it’s not over.

So yes, thank you for the Javits, thank you for the US Navy Ship Comfort. But it’s not over. We have a lot more to do and no one can do the posture of ‘just say thank you for what Ive done, and I’m now out, I’m not doing anything else. [Rubs hands] I’ve done my part.’ [Holds up hands]

What if I said to the people of my state, OK, I’m done. By the way, I’ve saved hundreds of thousands of lives, I’ve flattened the curve, I’ve created more hospital beds than anyone imagined, I’m done. I’m going home, I’m going to go see my mother, spend time with my kids and I’m going to go out fishing – in Connecticut, because their marinas are open. That’s it, I’m done.

What if I said that? That’s what he’s saying: ‘I’m done, I don’t want to help on testing, testing is too hard.’

And then the only thing he’s doing, let’s be honest, is ‘it’s up to the states to do reopening.’

By the way, it was always up to the states. What, are you going to grant me what the Constitution gave me before you were born? It’s called the 10th Amendment.

I dont need the president of the United States to tell me that I am governor and I don’t need the president of the United States to tell to me the powers of a state. People did that: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison – they are the ones who gave me the power. And I don’t need the president of the United States to read the Constiution for me.

Maybe he should have read the Constitution before he said he had the power to open the states.

Where he did a very graceful 180 and many people allowed him to do the graceful 180, but.

So he now says it’s up to the governors, which he said repeatedly now – yesterday, version of yesterday – and now it’s up to the governors to reopen. OK I get it, and you don’t want to help on testing, which is a national problem and replicates the same chaos that you created with medical supplies because FEMA wasn’t ready.

By the way – I needed a stockpile? Where was your stockpile? 10,000 ventilators for the nation? That was your stockpile? Where your projections, the federal projections said they would need double the hospital capacity of this nation. Think about that. The CDC says double the hospital capacity of the nation. The minimum projection was 2.4 million hospital beds. You know how many hospital beds we have in this nation? 900,000. His projection says 2.4 million hospital beds, the whole hospital system is only 900 and his stockpile has 10,000 ventilators.

You were ready with your stockpile? Didn’t you read your own CDC projection? Didn’t you read your own coronavirus projection?

So thank you again Mr. President for the Javits, thank you again for the U.S. Navy Ship Comfort, which by the way, is just doing your job as president, it’s not really thank you like you wrote a check yourself, but thank you for that. We’re not out of the woods, we have to go forward, we need help on testing and we need funding.

It’s up to the governors, it’s up to the states – well then, provide the funding. No. They only want to pass a bill that funds their small business program for PPP, their small business program. 

You need to fund the small business program. You’re going to say, after saying this monumental task is up to the individual governors and the individual states, you’re going to say, you’re going to say I’m providing no help, no assistance, no financial money. I understand why small businesses need the funding.

By the way, I know that airlines need a bailout – but not the states.

Why don’t you show as much consideration to states as you did to your big businesses and airlines? Right.

Reporter: Did you guys speak yesterday or this morning after he asked, announced the May 1st reopening of..


No. He didn’t announce anything. He said it’s up to the states, and if you say it’s up to the states and you just hold up a big microphone that can listen to all the governors, you’ll hear some governors say I can start to reopen right away, because some governors are in places where they don’t have a serious problem. They never did. By the way some states never closed down. So if you’re in a state that has a de minimus issue, yeah, then you can open up faster, you can open up tomorrow, or you can stat opening up tomorrow.

He’s doing nothing. He said it’s up to the states. It’s up to the governors which is what it always was because it’s always been the governors’ power.

Then he says ‘it’s a 50-piece puzzle.’ It’s called the map of the United States. It’s not a puzzle. And those lines are called states.

And those states have constitutional power. Remember the way this whole thing starts, the colonies create the federal, government, not the other way sound. So, introduction to constitutional theory and policy.

The states have the power to open. The states are opening on their own timelines. We’re trying to coordinate with our neighboring states. Western states are co-ordinating. Middle states are coordinating.

All he’s doing is walking in front of the parade but he has nothing to do with the timing of the parade, right. The governors are going to open when they think they should open.

All I’m saying is there’s two things they need help from. They need help from the federal government, two things: help on testing because they can’t do that and I don’t want to redo the mayhem of the PPE debacle, second point we need funding to do it.

The way you love talking about how you funded everything; big businesses are getting bailed out, airlines are getting bailed out, bail out, bail out, bailout, all with taxpayers’ money. State governments, which are the only ones which are doing this whole reopening, theyre going to need funding, right.

And, well, show gratitude. How many times do you want me to say thank you? And I’m saying thank you for doing your job. This was your role as president, OK. SO that’s the honest statement of fact without politics – I’m not running for anything so I have no agenda but delivering for the people of this state – and without ego.

You want me to say thank you? Thank you for doing your job in helping build Javits and sending the U.S. Navy Ship Comfort.

Thank you for participating in a modicum of federal responsibility in a national crisis – which you know is a national crisis because he declared a federal emergency.

So thank you for having the federal government participate in a federal emergency and thank you for your help building Javits, 2,500 beds, pursuant to your projection. Your projection. And if you don’t agree with your projection fire the head of the CDC, fire the White House coronavirus task force people, because they did the projections.

In case he forgot, or didn’t read his CDC report, just to be precise, March 13, March 13, so we’re well into it, CDC says 160 to 214 million Americans infected.

That’s over half the population . CDC. 2.4 million to 21 million Americans hospitalized. 2.4 million. Bottom number 21 million Americans hospitalized. March 13th. The CDC. March.

2.4. Let’s take their low number, which is a hell of a differential – either 2.4 or 10 times 2.4. Thank you for that great projection, but anyway, let’s take their minimum number. How many hospitals beds do you have? 900, let’s call it a million. So it’s two and a half times what your capacity is, right?

We’re the state of New York, we have a 50,000 bed capacity, but by their projections what do we need? 150,000 beds.

By the way, what did McKinsey say that we needed? 140,000 beds. They got it from the CDC, as it says on the screen [shows CDC projections slide].

That’s why we built 2,500 beds at Javits, because we listened to you, Mr. President.

And if we were following for listening to you, then shame on us. But read your own report next time before criticizing us.

[Reporter asks question about state funding and is answered by another official]

Can you pull up the White House coronavirus projection, just so the president can read what he said?

[Reporter asks about PPE shortages and nursing homes another official answers]

Cuomo: Excuse me one second. You saw the CDC projections.

This is the White House coronavirus task force, January, February, March 31st, of the projections. 1.5 million to 2.2 million deaths without the mitigation, 100 to 240 best case scenario. That’s the president’s projections.

So Mr. President, if you want to point fingers, which I think is a mistake, you’re in the middle of the game, it’s only half-time, don’t be a Monday morning quarterback at half-time, never works out well, and if you want to point fingers, we built more beds than we needed, our only mistake was in believing your numbers and believing your projections

If that was a mistake then I’m guilty but I thought New York state relying on what you said would have been a safe assumption.

I won’t make that mistake again and it was your CDC and your White House coronavirus task force that made those projections.

[Reporter asks about other states reopening. Cuomo speaks about reopening in parts of the state]

Can you put up the Navarro memo, just for kicks, just to make sure? CDC, coronavirus task force and Mr Peter Navarro’s memo to the president which the president said he never read. Peter Navarro says 100million Americans can be infected, as many as one to 2 million souls can be lost. SO whose projections were wrong? Head of the CDC, Peter Navarro and head of the White House corona task force.

Fire them all, that’s what I say. Fire them. You know the show when the president did- you’re fired? If he wants to fire someone for projections, retake his TV career, those are the three. Documented. If he wants to blame someone for the projections, blame the CDC, Peter Navarro, and whoever is on the coronavirus task force, because it’s their projections.

Peter Navarro you can fire.

[Reporter: why has this got under your skin]

It’s what he said. Well this is an important moment, he’s saying he doesn’t want to provide funding to the states and he doesn’t want to provide help on testing. And I can tell you the states can’t do it otherwise and if this testing doesn’t work, that’s a serious problem. 

I don’t care about his politics, but if we don’t have federal help on testing, that’s a real problem and I’m not going to go through the chaos that was created last time on PPE where people that were genuine heroes couldn’t get PPE, because there was a lack of coordination and because everything was made in China. 

We’re looking at that situation again, I can tell you that, I know enough to know that.