Politics

Cuomo and Trump patch up their war of words over coronavirus as cases mount

Key Points
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Trump have agreed to work together to fight the coronavirus pandemic, reaching a cease-fire in their war of words.
  • Cuomo asked the federal government to help his state fight the spread of COVID-19.
  • Trump responded in kind during a press briefing, saying "we're both doing a really good job."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump agreed Tuesday to work together to fight the coronavirus pandemic, reaching a cease-fire in their war of words.

The Democratic governor asked the federal government to help his state fight the spread of COVID-19, a day after he accused the Trump administration of a lack of leadership in the crisis.

"It is essential that the federal government works with this state," Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany. "We cannot do this on our own."

The remarks offered a stark change in tone from just a day earlier, when the governor said the Trump administration has been "behind from day one of this crisis."

At Tuesday's news conference, Cuomo announced that the virus had spread to at least 1,374 people in New York, hospitalizing 19% of them and killing at least 12. During the news conference, the state health commissioner announced that about 1,700 cases had been confirmed.

Cuomo, said he spoke to Trump earlier in the day and "put my hand out in partnership."

"I want to work together 100%," Cuomo said. "I need your help, I want your help, and New Yorkers will do everything they can to be good partners with the federal government."

"I think the president was 100% sincere in saying that he wanted to work together ... in a spirit of cooperation," Cuomo added. "I want to say thank you ... they will have nothing but cooperation and partnership from the state of New York."

"There's no time for" hyper-partisan politicking right now, Cuomo added. "The president is doing the right thing in offering to step up with New York, and I appreciate it."

Trump responded in kind during a midday briefing at the White House.

"With respect to Governor Cuomo, we had a really good talk this morning," Trump said. "We're both doing a really good job."

The efforts to bury the hatchet came just a few hours after the president admonished the governor for his prior comments.

"Cuomo wants 'all states to be treated the same.' But all states aren't the same," Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. 

"Some are being hit hard by the Chinese Virus, some are being hit practically not at all. New York is a very big 'hotspot', West Virginia has, thus far, zero cases."

"Andrew, keep politics out of it," the president added.

Tempers flared between the two after Cuomo's initial comments a day earlier. 

"Cuomo of New York has to 'do more,'" Trump tweeted Monday afternoon following a conference call with governors. It was not clear whom the president appeared to be quoting in the tweet.

Cuomo shot off a fiery response shortly after: "I have to do more? No — YOU have to do something! You're supposed to be the President."

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