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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called in to "The Howard Stern Show" on Monday morning, where he spoke about his ongoing relationship with President Trump and his efforts to combat the novel coronavirus in New York s tate, which leads the nation in terms of reported COVID-19 cases.
Cuomo phoned in to the Sirius XM radio show from Albany shortly after 9 a.m. for a wide-ranging interview that lasted more than 30 minutes. The governor spoke with the shock jock about a number of topics, including the Democratic governor’s relationship with Trump and his prediction for the duration of the pandemic to whether or not he’s watched Netflix hit “Tiger King.”
The three-term governor, who will be featured on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s May cover, said he speaks to Trump at several times a week.
Athough Cuomo acknowledged their tumultuous history, he said they have one uniting trait.
“We’re both New Yorkers, we speak our minds,” he said.
And he did not fail to give the president deserved credit for helping the Empire State through the pandemic through a number a measures including, deploying the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship, to assist the overturned health care system.
“He has delivered for New York,” Cuomo said of the president.
Cuomo added that Trump, while not typically chatty, always asks about his family, including CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo, who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
“The president always makes a point of saying to me: ‘How is Chris? Is he doing OK?’ And that’s not in his usual character. We’re not chit-chatty when we’re on the phone, but he always makes a point to say that about Chris and always remember[s] my mother,” Cuomo told the radio host. “He’s been amazingly accessible. He gets on the phone or he calls me back in 10 minutes.”
At least 558,526 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the United States, and 190,288 of those have been reported in New York, according to data from just before noon Monday.
Cuomo said he believes the pandemic will be resolved in “waves” but does not expect the “ultimate resolution” until a COVID-19 vaccine has been created, which he predicts will take another 18 months.
“If you’re not optimistic with this, it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning, right?” he said. “The first wave will be fewer people dying. That will be an initial resolution, unfettered panic has no place. We figured out how to slow down the beast. We’ll start to phase into an economy again – that’ll be a wave of resolution.”
Like everyone, Cuomo has had to adjust to the new, socially-distant workday, which entails less traveling and shaking hands, he said.
“My instinct is to run around and be very hands-on and on the ground. After Chris, my brother, got the virus, I took more precautions,” he said. “I am more isolated.”
Cuomo is largely spending his time in Albany now, where his daughters have been with him and provided some semblance of normalcy.
“I have watched excerpts of 'Tiger King' because I have my daughters here,” he told Stern, who asked if he was familiar with the show. He laughed as he added: “I’m still exposed to life through my daughters.”
As for how he’s been able to cope with the unprecedented crisis, Cuomo said he has not seen therapist, but instead just talks to others.
“There is no one person, Howard. I talk to a number of people and it sort of works for me that way,” he said. “Who’s going to help you with the problem that 700 people died yesterday? No one. No one can help you with that.”
He has stayed away from alcohol since the outbreak began, insisting: “This is 24 hours a day and I’m not going to be in a compromised position.”