New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo got blunt on Tuesday morning when asked about President Donald Trump’s claim that he has the “total authority” to force states to end their stay at home orders and allow businesses to reopen even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t know what the President is talking about, frankly,” Cuomo said during an interview on the “Today Show,” pointing to the basic elements of the Constitution.
“We don’t have a king,” he continued. “We have a president.”
“If he pushed it to that absurd point, then we would have a problem,” Cuomo replied when “Today Show” host Hoda Kotb asked what he’d do if Trump attempted to make the states reopen regardless of the governors’ efforts to tamp down on the outbreak.
“If he thinks he’s going to force this state, or any state for that matter, to do something that is reckless or irresponsible, that could endanger human life, literally,” the New York governor said.
“We don’t have a king. We have a president. … George Washington was president — not King Washington.” Watch @NYGovCuomo’s full interview with @hodakotb about President Trump’s recent comments about having the power to reopen states, stopping the spread in New York and more. pic.twitter.com/gRCFELi1mV
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 14, 2020
Trump, who apparently got word of Cuomo’s reaction, claimed several hours later via Twitter that Cuomo has been “calling daily, even hourly, begging” for medical supplies.
“I got it all done for him, and everyone else, and now he seems to want Independence!” he complained. “That won’t happen!”
During Cuomo’s daily press conference late Tuesday morning, the governor said Trump was “clearly spoiling for a fight on this issue.”
“The worst thing we can do in all of this is start with political division and start with partisanship,” Cuomo said.