President Donald Trump on Monday accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of attempting “political weaponization” of the coronavirus crisis, attacking another Democratic governor who has declared a state of emergency as a result of the outbreak.
Responding to a Saturday interview on MSNBC in which Cuomo criticized the “mixed messages” put forth by the federal government in response to the coronavirus, Trump wrote on Twitter: “There are no mixed messages, only political weaponization by people like you and your brother, Fredo!”
Trump has long sparred with Cuomo over a variety of issues since assuming office and has derisively referred to the governor’s brother, CNN journalist Chris Cuomo, as “Fredo,” in reference to the double-crossing Corleone sibling from “The Godfather” franchise.
The president’s post comes after Cuomo declared Saturday a state of emergency in New York as the number of coronavirus cases there surged to 76 — blasting the Trump administration and New York’s congressional delegation for authorizing an $8.3 billion emergency funding package that left New York with only $35 million to combat the outbreak.
Trump’s online assault also follows his targeting Friday of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who presides over the state where 19 of the 22 deaths in the U.S. attributed to the coronavirus have been. Inslee declared a state of emergency last weekend, and Vice President Mike Pence hailed the governor’s handling of the threat during a visit to Washington state Thursday.
But speaking Friday at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, Trump told reporters that he had urged Pence to refrain from praising Inslee, who has admonished the administration’s coronavirus response.
“I told Mike not to be complimentary of that governor because that governor is a snake. So Mike may be happy with him but I’m not, OK?” Trump said.
“If we came up with a cure today, and tomorrow everything is gone, and you went up to this governor — who is, you know, not a good governor, by the way — if you went up to this governor, and you said to him, ‘How did Trump do?’ He would say, ‘He did a terrible job,'” the president continued. “It makes no difference.”