• New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said President Trump's desire to downplay the severity of coronavirus helped exacerbate the pandemic's spread
  • Cuomo pointed to New York's flattening curve as proof of how following proper guidelines would help keep the virus under control
  • Cuomo has been among the most outspoken state leaders, previously trading barbs with Trump and criticizing other states for "politicizing" the pandemic

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo leveled more criticism at President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has become a regular source of tension between the two sides. Cuomo said Trump exacerbated the pandemic by trying to downplay its severity and not wearing a mask.

“He wants to deny the COVID virus. He has from Day One. ‘Well, it’s just like the flu. Well, it’s going to be gone by Easter. It’s going to get warm and disappear like a miracle.’ He’s said all of those things, and none of them were true,” Cuomo said during his Monday briefing.

“He won’t wear a mask. Vice President Pence says wear a mask. All the health officials say wear the mask. He won’t wear a mask because he doesn’t want to admit that there’s a COVID virus. Why? I have no idea.”

Cuomo added that Trump is "facilitating the virus. He’s enabling the virus."

Cuomo cited New York’s apparent success in flattening the curve by following all recommendations laid out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, including wearing masks in public and practicing social distancing.

“We know there’s a model that says you can contain the virus. We did it,” Cuomo said. “And by the way, we did it in the worst-case scenario. That’s what’s really breathtaking here. We didn’t have seven cases, we had the highest infection rate in the country.”

As of Monday, New York has over 402,000 confirmed cases and 31,911 deaths.

Cuomo has been among the most outspoken critics of how the pandemic has been handled. In April, Trump attacked Cuomo on Twitter, saying Cuomo should spend more time "doing" and less time "complaining."

Along with Trump, Cuomo recently criticized officials in states like Texas and Florida who "politicized" the pandemic. This resulted in states reopening sooner and faster than they, arguably, should have and has resulted in a record number of cases in several states across the U.S.

New York, on the other hand, has been able to stabilize after the initial surge of cases between February and March. The state was in the process of reopening, with New York City set to begin Phase 3 on Monday, however, the recent surge of cases in the U.S. South and West caused Cuomo to temporarily pause reopening.

Cuomo also issued a travel advisory on June 24, alongside Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, for anyone traveling from a hotspot state to one of the three northeastern states to quarantine for 14-days after arriving.

As of Monday, 16 states were listed on the New York Department of Health’s advisory list.

"An outbreak anywhere is an outbreak everywhere," Cuomo said.

New York Gov Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pictured. AFP / Johannes EISELE