Andrew Cuomo Says Donald Trump Caused COVID Outbreak in New York: 'That Is a Fact'

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid the coronavirus outbreak in his state at President Donald Trump's feet on Tuesday, during a televised press conference. Cuomo told reporters that Trump "caused the COVID outbreak in New York," and encouraged others to hold him accountable for it. He blamed Trump's "incompetence" as a leader for the pandemic there.

"Donald Trump caused the COVID outbreak in New York. That is a fact. It's a fact that he admitted, and the CDC admitted, and Fauci admitted," Cuomo said. He was furious for Trump's belated response to the virus, and that the president did not take enough precautions to stop it from reaching the shores of the U.S. He also condemned the president's rhetoric around the pandemic, going all the way back to December of 2019.

"The virus killed many more Americans than anything you were worried about on the southern border," Cuomo said. "This nation loses more people per day to COVID than any nation on the globe. You know who did that? Donald Trump's incompetence. And now, they won't provide federal funding to help repair the damage from the ambush they created."

Other leaders have slammed Trump just as hard for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, though perhaps not in such frank terms. Cuomo targeted some of Trump's actions specifically, including his travel ban between the U.S. and Europe early on in the outbreak. He also condemned the president's racist nickname for COVID-19 — "the China Virus."

New York was one of the first states to suffer catastrophic losses to the coronavirus pandemic, with a massive surge of new cases and deaths in March. New York City, in particular, suffered, as the hospitals and morgues became over-filled and the homeless population dwindled.

At the time of this writing, New York state has had 440,021 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 25,361 confirmed deaths. At least 19,090 of those deaths were in New York City, and experts often point out that these numbers are likely underestimations, not overestimations.

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Various parts of the Trump administration's coronavirus response are under investigation by watchdog groups or by the U.S. Congress itself. Last week, a House investigation into the White House's implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) presented its findings. According to a report by NBC News, the lawmakers ruled that the Trump administration "failed to design and implement a program that would help actual small businesses and their workers."

Trump and his campaign staff continue to cast his coronavirus response as a success and to refer to the pandemic in the past tense, despite the ongoing rise in new cases and deaths. At the time of this writing, the U.S. has suffered at least 189,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic in total.