Trump ‘spoiling for a fight’ over coronavirus, says New York governor
US President Donald Trump is “spoiling for a fight” over coronavirus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has claimed, as the fallout from Monday’s White House news conference continues.
Mr Cuomo’s comments come as Mr Trump used a media briefing on Monday to attack fellow politicians and the media for criticising his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
One television network described it as “the biggest meltdown from a US president” they’d ever seen.
At his own daily briefing, Mr Cuomo said that the president was “clearly unhappy” during his White House press conference on Monday, adding: “The president is 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.
“The best thing we have done throughout this past 44 days is we’ve worked together and we haven’t raised political flags – even in his hyper partisan environment.”
Mr Cuomo added: “If he [President Trump] wants a fight, he’s not going to get it from me – this is going to take us working together.”
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New York state has been hit hardest in the US, with 10,834 people dying with COVID-19 since the outbreak began, far surpassing other areas of the country.
The president also claimed he had absolute authority over the state governors over when to end their lockdowns – something which was questioned by other politicians.
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Mr Trump has been keen to reopen major areas of the country and get people back into work, in an attempt to restart the country’s economy – but New York, California and Washington state, among others, have all pushed back on the idea, opting to take a regional approach as to when to relax the conditions.
The US government has been accused of reacting too slowly to the pandemic, leading the country to have the highest number of people die with coronavirus in the world. The toll currently stands at 23,709, according Johns Hopkins University.
Despite early signs that the number of people dying with COVID-19 appears to be falling in New York, Mr Cuomo told the news conference on Tuesday that the state was not “out of the woods yet”.