Vice President Mike Pence fired back at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on “The Ingraham Angle” Monday after the Democrat claimed the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic needed a “reset” from the “top.”
“Our hearts grieve for the fact that one in five of all the American lives that have been lost in the coronavirus pandemic were lost in the State of New York,” Pence told host Laura Ingraham, “and some of that was because of poor decisions by the state and by Governor Cuomo.”
Earlier Monday, Cuomo told MSNBC that “We see the health experts … saying the nation has to hit a reset. We do need a reset, and the reset has to start at the top. We have confusion, we have chaos, we don’t have operations set up and I think it has to start with the president of the United States. I think he has to stand up and say what he didn’t say six months ago –he has to say to the American people that COVID is serious, that we can’t deny it, that it’s not political.
Cuomo went on to accuse the White House of “sending the exact wrong message” and having “learned nothing in six months,” specifically naming White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx.
“I liked it better when he said that President Trump’s leadership in the pandemic was, in his words, ‘phenomenal’,” Pence remarked Monday night. “He said that repeatedly as we surged testing, as we surged PPE, as we sailed in a hospital ship…”
Host Laura Ingraham noted that Texas and Florida — two states with recent spikes in the number of cases — have still fared far better than New York in terms of deaths.
She showed the vice president a chart explaining that 333 people per million had died in Florida from COVID-19 and 257 people per million had died in Texas, while and 1,686 people per million in the Empire State.
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“I couldn’t be more proud of the support that we rendered to the people of New York and I think the people of New York know that, health care workers know that, families know that,” said Pence, who told Ingraham that the White House has a far less contentious relationship with New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, whose state was similarly affected by the outbreak.
“[He] has continued to express his great appreciation for President Trump’s leadership. But there will be plenty of time in the future to debate various responses,” Pence said. “Look, our focus is entirely on dealing with this pandemic, marshaling the full resources of the government and I think the American people know the facts here — and the fact that Governor Cuomo has been on-again-off-again, he’s complimented the administration’s response and then he pivots to criticism, I think people see through that.”