New York Governor Andrew Cuomo praised the Trump administration’s efforts to handle the coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday, after initially criticizing the federal government’s response as “absurd and nonsensical.”
“His team is on it. They’ve been responsive,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “I want to say thank you.”
The Democratic governor said that he spoke to Trump on Tuesday and that the president is “100 percent sincere” in his desire to work with the state to control the virus outbreak, which has mushroomed in the U.S. over the past week.
The administration is “ready and willing to help,” Cuomo said, “especially on the hospital capacity issue.”
The governor emphasized that the New York state government “cannot meet this crisis without the resources … of the federal government.”
Earlier this month, Cuomo slammed the administration’s response as the result of “bad government and poor planning,” adding that it will “increase the fear” surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, which the World Health Organization has dubbed a pandemic.
Cuomo complained that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved “in a tardy fashion” to allow states to test people for the virus.
“I don’t understand the CDC’s instructions here on how they think this should work,” Cuomo said. “If the vice president says we don’t have sufficient testing capacity, then how are you inviting anyone who thinks they need a test to go get a test?”
New York announced 432 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,374, the highest total in a single U.S. state.
Cuomo added that there are no plans to quarantine New York City, a move he noted would require state approval.
“We hear New York City is going to quarantine itself — that is not true,” the governor said.
However, earlier on Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is “absolutely considering” requiring residents to remain in their homes to avoid further spreading the coronavirus to vulnerable populations. San Francisco took a similar step on Monday, instructing residents to “shelter in place” and only leave their homes for essential visits to the grocery store or pharmacy.
“Right now we have taken a series of steps to reduce the number of people who are circulating around,” de Blasio said. “But we’re going to look at all other options, and it could get to that for sure.”