Vice President Mike Pence ripped Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, claiming his “poor decisions” were a factor in the Empire State’s enormous outbreak and 32,000 fatalities.
“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, and some of that was because of poor decisions by the state and by Governor Cuomo,” Pence told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.
The veep’s critique followed Cuomo’s suggestion earlier Monday on MSNBC that the country needed a “reset” at “the top,” suggesting the Trump administration should be replaced in November.
“We see the health experts, Johns Hopkins and others saying the nation has to hit a reset. We do need a reset. But the reset has to start at the top,” Cuomo said.
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
But Pence pointed out that Cuomo had previously been full of praise for Trump’s response to the pandemic — at one point even calling it “phenomenal.”
“I liked it better when he said that President Trump’s leadership in the pandemic was, in his words, ‘phenomenal,’” the veep told Ingraham, noting the military hospital ship that was sent to the Big Apple by the feds to help treat the infected.
“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.
As of Tuesday, the virus has claimed the lives of 32,719 New Yorkers and infected another 416,843, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Cuomo and his health officials have faced intense scrutiny over nursing home deaths during the pandemic, sparking a probe by state lawmakers who described the fatalities as “prevalent and harrowing.”
Trump and Cuomo had a love-hate relationship during the peak of the crisis in March and April — hitting each other at their daily press conferences with their signature zeal.