RNA - Cuomo, a Democrat, drew first blood at the top of a phone conference with reporters Monday morning, when he said that the federal government has been “behind from day one of this crisis”, CNBC reported.
The government’s response to the deadly virus has been “inexcusable”, Cuomo added.
Cuomo made his remarks before he announced that he and Govs. Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Ned Lamont of Connecticut had agreed to enforce the closing of certain businesses and limit public gatherings to fewer than 50 people in each of their states.
“States, frankly, don’t have the capacity or the power to make up for the federal government,” Cuomo stated, citing “a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards.”
Trump, later that afternoon, responded on social media following a “very good tele-conference with Nation’s Governors”, stating, “Cuomo of New York has to ‘do more.'”
It was not clear whom the president appeared to be quoting in the tweet. He later issued another version of the tweet that corrected a typo.
During the video conference Monday morning, Trump reportedly suggested that the governors work on their own to try to obtain medical equipment that is increasingly needed for people diagnosed with the coronavirus.
“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment – try getting it yourselves,” Trump told the state leaders, The New York Times reported, citing a recording of the conference call.
“We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves,” Trump added, according to The NY Times, noting, “Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”
Shortly after the president sent his tweet, Cuomo hit back, “I have to do more? No — YOU have to do something! You’re supposed to be the President.”
It’s not the first time the two leaders have banged heads amid the nationwide efforts to rein in the spread of the coronavirus.
Earlier in March, Trump lashed out at the New York governor after Cuomo complained in a television interview about the “mixed messages” coming from the Trump administration.
“There are no mixed messages, only political weaponization by people like you and your brother, Fredo!” Trump tweeted, referencing a comment made toward CNN broadcaster Chris Cuomo, the governor’s brother, in a viral video.
Cuomo had been filmed in a heated exchange with a man he accused of derisively calling him “Fredo” — a character from the classic mob film “The Godfather” and a term that Chris Cuomo said was a slur against Italians.
Trump has since described the CNN anchor as Fredo on numerous occasions.