Cuomo calmly began, “First of all, If he’s sitting home watching TV, maybe he should get up and go to work, right?” He mocked the president’s insistence on being thanked for doing his job, asking whether he should send Trump a bouquet of flowers. He then took on the president’s suggestions that New York built too many hospital beds. “They are your projections, Mr. President. . . . Were we foolish in relying on your projections, Mr. President?” Cuomo suggested that if Trump wanted to re-inhabit his reality-TV persona (“You’re fired!”), he should fire the people who issued the projections, such as Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as economic adviser Peter Navarro. Cuomo then proceeded to show one slide after another highlighting the White House projections.
“The president doesn’t want to help on testing,” Cuomo continued. He said Trump keeps saying he does not want to do it because it is too hard and too complicated. Yes, that’s why he needs the help, Cuomo exclaimed. He scolded Trump, “The federal government cannot wipe their hands of this. . . . We cannot do it.”
Cuomo then turned his guns on the president’s nothing-burger guidelines that say it is up to the states to decide when to reopen businesses. The governor mocked Trump for telling him he has the power to do what he was given before Trump was born, thanks to the 10th Amendment. He made clear that Trump cannot simply shove testing off on the states, provide no federal help and congratulate himself. Cuomo said it would be akin to him saying he had saved thousands of lives and was now going to Connecticut to go fishing.
He then blasted Trump and Republicans for insisting the fund for small business be available immediately while expecting states, which are now broke, to undertake the entire testing initiative on his own. Cuomo asked rhetorically, “Why don’t you show as much consideration to states as you did to your big businesses and to your airlines?”
It is worth watching at length the tour de force:
Aside from providing satisfaction to every American sick of seeing Trump grandstand while doing nothing, Cuomo put the onus directly on Republicans who are desperate to reopen the economy. They demand states undertake this effort, but they refuse to assist in ramping up funding or in funding the states that were left to fend for themselves during a national emergency. If you want to know why some states cannot open, look to Trump, who cannot be bothered to do his job on testing, and to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who cannot find the will to fund anyone but businesses.
Former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden might want to use the Cuomo monologue in an ad or two. Cuomo nicely encapsulated the problem: Trump’s dereliction led to unnecessary deaths and required a total shutdown of most of the economy; now he does not want to help solve the key problem with reopening — namely the lack of testing. This is a president who speaks loudly and carries a tiny stick.