New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered mixed praise during a press conference on Monday, addressing the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
During the presser, Cuomo praised President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for helping New York speed up its testing process for the virus.
“I often tell you when I am unhappy with the federal response to this state. The fairness dictates that kudos where kudos are due, and here the president and the vice president responded very quickly,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said he had asked Pence and Trump to speed up testing, allowing state labs and emergency management teams to coordinate for streamlined testings.
He said currently up to 7,000 tests a day are available for New Yorkers.
But Cuomo criticized the federal government’s response to the pandemic, noting that the response had been “behind from day one” on the crisis.
He urged Trump to act quickly to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to start building temporary healthcare structures in New York City and other places.
Cuomo also griped that too many states were required to set their own health and safety standards while the federal government remained silent.
“This is a national problem, and we need federal leadership,” Cuomo said.
He noted the coronavirus restrictions and regulations in China, South Korea, and Italy were all handled federally.
“They were all handled by national leadership; this is a national problem,” he said. “It cannot be done in a piecemeal method. You need federal parameters to stop the national patchwork of density reduction closings.”
Cuomo complained of the “whole hodgepodge of efforts” being taken in states like Washington, California, and New York regarding restrictions.
“It’s chaos,” Cuomo complained. “It feeds the feeling that the country’s out of control and there is no clear direction, no clear path.”
He said that state and local governments were forced to scramble to address their own regulations and look at what other states and localities were doing, which was “counterproductive.”
“Let the federal government say, ‘These are the guidelines,'” he said.
But on CNN, Cuomo shied away from criticizing President Trump’s optimistic assessment of the federal government’s handling of the virus.
“I think this is not the time to be hypercritical. I think the generous view is that the president is trying to keep people calm, which, by the way, is a very legitimate function for leadership,” he said.