President Trump on Thursday criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic and called him “incompetent” while also noting that crime in certain parts of the state has risen as high as 250% in recent months.
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Trump spoke with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney for a wide-ranging interview on Thursday morning, when he was highly critical of the Empire State's governor for the Democrat's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said New York “has been the worst in the whole country” with 40,000 deaths.
“New York has done very badly,” Trump told Varney on Varney & Co. “He’s done a bad job, really bad job, Cuomo. Then he writes books like he’s supposed to be doing a good job.”
As of Thursday morning, 33,316 people in New York State have died of COVID-19, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Just over 217,000 people have reportedly suffered virus-related deaths nationwide.
Trump also pointed to Cuomo’s handling of coronavirus in nursing homes – where more than 11,000 people are believed to have died since August, according to an Associated Press estimate.
The president said he gave Cuomo resources to help, but Cuomo was “incompetent.”
“I gave him a ship, and I gave him a convention center – 2,800 beds, and he never used it,” Trump said. “He just, was incompetent. Something happened, they’re incompetent, and they didn’t do it. He didn’t know what he was doing.”
Rich Azzopardi, senior advisor to the Cuomo, responded in an email to FOX Business, writing: "Give me a break."
"More than 216,000 Americans died because of the federal government's incompetent and bumbling pandemic response and -- Trump knew the whole time how deadly it was and never raised the alarm. Instead he told the American people to drink bleach and then went golfing - a lot," Azzopardi said. "The Governor works hard every day to protect New Yorkers and cut everyone's taxes while Trump raised them with his SALT cap -- not that he'd know, since he doesn't pay them anyway."
Trump then pivoted to another topic but returned to his criticisms of Cuomo when speaking about the “radical left”-run parts of the country, such as New York, where crime, he said, “has gone through the roof.”
“I think his political career has to be finished,” Trump added. “Because you can’t have numbers that he’s putting up where certain types of crime are up 250% and, you know, he’s helped along by the mayor, in all fairness, but the mayor, I guess he’s going to go onto greener pastures pretty soon.”
At least one report from a local outlet confirmed that certain crimes recently surged by more than 250%.
Cuomo took his efforts with Trump and the COVID-19 treatment public on Thursday in the form of a letter sent to the commander-in-chief on behalf of the National Governors Association (NGA). In the letter, he and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said they are will to help in the administration’s efforts toward a national vaccine campaign, but “additional guidance and clarification is needed on the roles and expectations of states in a successful COVID-19 vaccine distribution and implementation plan.”
According to the letter, the pair of governors asked for a meeting with Trump and members of his administration to discuss “the delineation of federal and state responsibilities; the funding needs associated with those responsibilities; and the planned supply chain management and vaccine allocation process.”