Governor Cuomo calls on the President to tell the American people the truth of his mistakes to change the ever-persistent denial of the severity of the pandemic.
At a press conference, N.Y. Governor Cuomo criticized the federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and demanded that President Trump admit the truth about the mistakes he has made by downplaying its gravity.
Cuomo began, "you want to start over. You want to hit the reset button. I'll tell you how we hit the reset button in this country." Then, he called on the President. "Tell the American people the truth," he said. “It has to start with the President telling the American people the truth."
The President downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Americans continue to face the consequences.
He elaborated ardently on this truth: "The truth is it was a mistake to deny COVID. It was a mistake to downplay COVID. It was a mistake to say it's just the flu. It was a mistake to say it's gone by Easter. It was a mistake to say it's going to magically disappear when it gets warm."
He continued that it was also a mistake for the President to put up an incongruous bluff and send a message to the American people that he sees the light at the end of the tunnel. Most importantly, it was a mistake to say, "yes, we're going to do testing. But I don't think we need it."
Those who listened to the President believed him and undermined the severity of COVID-19. Many who listened to him did not take the precautions seriously.
Cuomo raised the argument that the President is very culpable for pushing the fast reopening of some states and politicizing the governors' careful responses. That led to the pandemic's current dire situation, five months since the virus burgeoned in the U.S.
Five months ago, Trump demanded, "reopen the economy. Liberate the states. Liberate the economy. These governors are slow-walking reopening. They're just playing politics. That's what they're doing. There's no reason not to reopen the economy. Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up."
As a result, the states that reopened prematurely —including Florida, Texas, and Arizona— now face an overwhelming number of positive cases of COVID-19 once again.
Trump's insistence on opening the economy "denied the truth," according to Cuomo. Cuomo said solemnly, "it was a mistake to deny the reality that happened in New York that was broadcast across the country."
Trump saw how New York responded to the deadly coronavirus with the testing, hospital system, phased reopening, contacting tracing, and shut down of New York. New York was "ambushed because the virus came from Europe, and nobody told us," said Cuomo of New York's rapid response. On the other hand, "these other states had six months."
"How did you not set up a testing operation? How did you not expand the capacity of your hospital system? How did you not locate additional staff? How did you not locate additional PPE? You had six months. The reason they didn't — because they were listening to the President," said Cuomo, in disbelief of the other state governments' response.
Cuomo argued that COVID-19 is not a partisan, political issue. "It's not deadly serious for Democrats. It's not deadly serious for blue states only. COVID kills Republicans, and COVID affects red states."
He insisted, "it is deadly serious, and it shouldn't have been politicized. He continued, "this is public health; that's what this was, and it should have never been turned into a political symbol, which is what this President did."
Cuomo said, "every American knows this was the worst government blunder in modern history." He continued, "This was a colossal blunder, how this federal government handled COVID. A colossal blunder." He sent a final direct message to the federal government: "Shame on all of you."
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