Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) blamed the outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus in New York entirely on President Trump during Tuesday’s press briefing, criticizing the president for the “too little, too late” travel ban on Europe in March.
“Donald Trump caused the COVID outbreak in New York,” Cuomo said, repeating his claim. “That is a fact. It’s a fact that he admitted and the CDC admitted and Fauci admitted.”
“The China virus, the China virus, the China virus. It was not the China virus,” the governor said, repeating his long-held narrative of the “European virus,” not the China virus, infecting his state:
It was the European virus that came to New York. They missed it. They missed it. The China virus went to Europe. It got on a plane. It went to Europe. They never even thought of the possibility. And then 3 million Europeans got on the plane and came to New York. And they brought the virus. January, they brought the virus. February, they brought the virus. March, they brought the virus. And in mid-March, the federal government does a travel ban from Europe. Mid-March.
“Too little, too late,\ Mr. President. He caused the COVID outbreak in New York. Donald Trump,” he continued, also casting blame on Trump’s “incompetent” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Department of Homeland Security.
Cuomo, a consistent critic of the president, has long maintained that the “European virus” infected New York, repeating the claim during his speech at last month’s virtual Democratic National Convention.
“In fact, [the White House] didn’t even see it coming. The European virus infected the northeast while the White House still fixated on China,” Cuomo said. “The virus had been attacking us for months before they even knew it was here.”
Breitbart News fact-checked Cuomo’s assertion at the time:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, since May, has said there is “enormous evidence” that the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan lab. A month prior, federal intelligence officials confirmed that the coronavirus did originate in China.
“There’s enormous evidence that that’s where this began,” Pompeo said in reference to a Wuhan lab. “We’ve said from the beginning that this was a virus that originated in Wuhan, China. We took a lot of grief for that from the outset. But I think the whole world can see now”:
Cuomo’s assertion that the coronavirus “had been attacking us for months before they even knew it was here” does not acknowledge that the president banned travel from China as early as January.
At the time, progressives accused Trump of implementing a “racist” travel ban. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) even urged Americans to visit San Franciso, California’s Chinatown while actively working on legislation, dubbed the “No Ban Act,” to prevent the president from implementing travel bans designed to protect Americans at home.
Trump issued a travel ban for Europe in March as CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield identified Europe as the “real threat” to the U.S. at that moment in time.
“We closed the front door with the China travel ban, which was right, but we left the back door open,” Cuomo said during an April briefing.
Cuomo on Tuesday also accused Trump of “actively trying to kill New York City”:
NYGOP Chairman Nick Langworthy offered a sharp retort to Cuomo’s assertions:
Andrew Cuomo is a dishonest, incompetent governor, who, as the leader of this state, is the one responsible for New York’s economic and public safety crisis. … Every other state in the nation was doing better than New York pre-pandemic, and instead of using the virus as a wake up call to reform New York’s worst-in-the-nation tax and regulatory climate, he holds dishonest, delusional rants against the President who went above and beyond to give New York everything he asked for.
Here are the indisputable facts about New York pre-covid: we had a $7 billion dollar deficit, the highest taxes, worst economic outlook, most onerous regulations, least-business friendly climate, and the most outmigration of any state in the nation.
Here are the indisputable facts about New York post-covid: Cuomo was the only governor in the country who prohibited nursing homes from testing for covid, he forced nursing homes to take covid-positive patients, he fought de Blasio’s move to shut down New York City, and New York has more deaths than California, Texas and Florida combined.
We are losing a record number of residents daily due to the state’s economic and public safety nightmare. Cuomo and his Democrat Party eliminated bail, putting thousands of dangerous career criminals back on our streets and made it harder for police and prosecutors to enforce the law.
“Mr. ‘the buck stops with me’ has never accepted responsibility for anything a day in his life,” Langworthy added. “New Yorkers must be smart enough to see through his loud, dishonest rants and look at his actions that have destroyed our state.”
While Cuomo continues to blame Trump, the governor has refused to take responsibility for the thousands of nursing home deaths that occurred in his state following his administration’s controversial nursing home directive, forcing longterm care facilities to accept patients recovering from the coronavirus, thereby exposing the most vulnerable population to the illness.
According to the AP, the coronavirus-related fatalities among New York nursing home patients “could actually be a significant undercount” due to the way the state counts the fatalities. The state excludes the fatalities of patients who were transferred to hospitals. The current nursing home death toll in New York stands at over 6,600.