HHS Sec Azar: ‘No Factual Basis’ in NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Criticism of WH Coronavirus Response

Monday on Fox News Channel, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar dismissed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) criticism of the Trump administration’s response to the spread of coronavirus.

Cuomo had accused the Trump administration of offering “mixed messages,” to which Azar said there was “no factual basis” in those claims from Cuomo, and commended him as a good partner.

Partial transcript as follows:

JON SCOTT, CO-HOST, “AMERICA’S NEWSROOM”: Listen, Governor Andrew Cuomo, obviously Democrat of New York, has been critical of the federal effort. Here’s what he told Maria Bartiromo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Look, testing is limited. And this is, I think, Maria, one of the main issues we have, both in reality and in perception. When you wonder why people are so anxious and the fear, it’s because the information they’re getting tends to change and they’re getting mixed messages.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: How do you answer that last part in particular, mixed messages, says Governor Cuomo?

AZAR: Well, you know, listen, I’m disturbed by that comment because Governor Cuomo has actually been a really good partner working with us. So I’m confused by what he’s saying there because New York State and New York City have all the lab tests they’ve asked for. In fact, we’ve offered them more and they’ve refused further shipments of lab tests. So there’s just no factual basis for what he’s saying there.

But he’s been a good partner and we’re working really closely with the New York City Public Health Department, as well as with New York State. We actually approved last — over a week — I think a week and a half ago, we approved New York — maybe a week ago, New York State’s — a lab test that they developed that we actually approved. So they’ve been up and running with capacity for any need they’ve had.

Let me really — be really clear about one point. There has never been a time since the CDC developed the lab test that any public health official in the United States, who needed to get somebody tested for the novel coronavirus, has been unable to get that person tested through the CDC’s test in Atlanta. We have had capacity and through-put at every moment since we developed this test. That is a fact.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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