New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has often found himself at odds with President Donald Trump, particularly amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. But it seems the two leaders do agree on at least one thing: no matter how the president responds to the pandemic, the critics won’t be happy. And on Tuesday, Cuomo came clean on that count.
“This is a situation that no matter however you do it, it’s going to be a blame game afterward,” the New York governor remarked to reporters, according to Breitbart.
The governor was reacting to President Trump’s frequent laments about how the mainstream media has covered his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We did all of this work, but when you read the phony stories nobody — nobody acknowledges this,” Trump said at a press briefing at the White House last week, according to a transcript from RealClearPolitics.
“I don’t mind being criticized but not when they are wrong, not when people have done a great job,” the president added.
For his part, Cuomo seems to understand the president’s frustrations. “I heard the president in his briefing the other day. He’s right,” Cuomo said Tuesday, according to Breitbart.
He went on: “This is one of those thankless tasks… It is one of those tasks when you get to the end of it, everybody is going to be able to say you didn’t do enough.”
The next mission
The governor’s talk came ahead of a meeting between himself and President Trump that was also slated for Tuesday, Breitbart reported. Discussing the government’s ongoing response to the pandemic, the leaders reportedly brought up the USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship that arrived in New York City on March 30, according to Politico.
“It was very good to have in case we had overflow, but I said we don’t really need the Comfort anymore,” Cuomo told MSNBC after the meeting, according to the New York Post. “It did give us comfort but we don’t need it anymore, so if they need to deploy that somewhere else, they should take it.”
Cuomo also agreed with Trump that state governors need to take the lead when it comes to re-opening the country and getting the economy moving again.
“The sense I got from the president is that he was deferential to the needs of that state and the full spectrum of states because some states are in a very different position,” the governor said Tuesday, according to the Post. “He was inquisitive about what we were doing and what we thought and what we needed, but he never editorialized on what he thought was an appropriate timeline.”
At his daily coronavirus press conference Tuesday evening, Trump confirmed that the Comfort would be leaving New York. “I’ve asked Andrew [Cuomo] if we could bring the Comfort back to its base in Virginia so that we could have it for other locations and he said we would be able to do that,” the president said, according to The Hill.
He went on: “We’ll be bringing the ship back at the earliest time, and we’ll get it ready for its next mission, which will, I’m sure, be a very important one also.”