Cuomo Blames ‘Super-Spreader’ Trump for Coronavirus Deaths in New York
(Bloomberg) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo blamed President Donald Trump for coronavirus-related deaths in the state, calling him a liar and “super-spreader.”
Cuomo said Tuesday that Trump has repeatedly lied to the public, including earlier this year when he suggested the virus was a hoax and that it would be gone by Easter.
“I hold Donald Trump responsible for every death in New York state from Covid, because Trump lied,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a conference call with reporters.
Trump’s support in polls has collapsed since his first debate with Joe Biden and his hospitalization for Covid-19. A six-point average lead for Biden at the end of September has grown to about 9 points as of Monday, according to RealClearPolitics.
More than 220,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus, including more than 33,000 in New York.
A spokeswoman for Trump rejected Cuomo’s criticism. “Governor Cuomo failed to protect innocent New Yorkers from COVID-19 as he recklessly forced positive individuals into his state’s nursing homes all while writing a self-promotional book,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews.
She added: “His revisionist history cannot erase his grossly incompetent decisions or the fact that President Trump took bold, aggressive actions that saved lives in New York and every state across the country.”
Cuomo referred to Trump as “patient zero” and the top “super-spreader” of the virus. He noted the president’s crowded Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony -- where Trump announced his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court -- that helped spark a coronavirus outbreak at the White House that has sickened several attendees.
The Trump administration also should have had a travel ban on Europe instead of focusing solely on China, Cuomo said.
“New York state had that big burst because it came from Europe and not China, and they never did a European travel ban because he was lying to the American people,” Cuomo said. “He is the super-spreader that brought the virus to America.”
Trump has repeatedly disparaged Cuomo over his handling of the virus and racial-justice protests.
Cuomo has come under scrutiny for his handling of Covid-19 in nursing homes, as well as the timing of his decision to order the shutdown of businesses in the state, which came after calls from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The U.S. Justice Department in August said it would review nursing home deaths in New York and three other states led by Democrats. More than 6,500 nursing home residents in New York have died due to the virus, according to state data of presumed and confirmed cases.
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