President Donald Trump is scrambling to pass the blame for his bungled response to the global pandemic that's upended daily life in the United States.
In addition to the Obama administration and the World Health Organization, one of the President's favorite targets for blame is the nation's governors, whom he says should fend for themselves in crucial matters such as testing and medical equipment supplies, relying on the federal government only as a backup.
He continued that today with a Twitter screed against Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Governor Cuomo's response to the outbreak in New York has been widely praised. The Governor has frequently commended the President for facilitating the efficient building of emergency hospitals in the Javitz center and other parts of the state. He's largely resisted getting into partisan squabbles with the Trump administration.
But when asked about Trump's round of tweets today, the Governor became visibly frustrated and didn't hold back from telling the President how he felt.
Watch his extended remarks below.
After debunking the President's claim that the equipment from the federal government wasn't used, Cuomo responded to Trump's claim that the federal government gave New York more supplies than it needed:
"When he says, 'well, we built it, we didn't need it,' it sounds like the suggestion is it was a request by the state that wasn't valid. If he didn't really believe 2500 beds was necessary, I don't believe the federal government would've built 2500 beds. The number came from a projection from him, so he should read the reports he issues...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 are wrong,' they're your projections, Mr. President. So were we foolish for relying on your projections, Mr. President?"
In addition to the President's faulty logic, he's demonstrated a personal vindictiveness—as he did in his Twitter rant—toward governors that aren't "appreciative" enough to his administration.
Cuomo addressed this as well.
"I have said a number of times—I don't know, what am I supposed to do send a bouquet of flowers? They were very helpful on Javitz, very helpful on sending the US Navy Ship Comfort...I said thank you, thank you, thank you. Now, going forward, we're still in the midst of it...So, yes, thank you for the Javitz, thank you for the US Navy Ship Comfort. It's not over. We've a lot more to do, and no one can take the posture, 'Well just say thank you for what I've done and I'm now out. I'm not doing anything else, I've done my part.'"
He then targeted Trump's backtracking of the claim that he had "total" authority on when the states would finally resume normal activities. Trump later said that he would "authorize" the states to decide when to reopen.
"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 didn't need the President of the United States to tell me that I'm Governor. I didn't need the President of the United States to tell me the power 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 Constitution for me. Maybe he should've read the Constitution before he said he had the power to open the states."
He concluded by reminding the President that the White House's efforts aren't a charity, they're a duty informed by the oath the President took on January 20, 2017.
"So, thank you again, Mr. President for the Javitz. Thank you again for the US 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, we need help on funding."
People roundly agreed that Cuomo bested the President in his criticism.
The Governor is showing more leadership than the President of the United States.
That'll be enough from you, Donald.