Republicans from New York wasted no time going after Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the first day of the Republican National Convention in North Carolina on Monday, calling Cuomo’s critical comments toward the federal government’s coronavirus response a “terrible shame.”
Nick Langworthy, chair of the New York State Republican Committee, railed against Cuomo during the roll call for President Donald Trump’s formal nomination Monday.
“Even our governor, Andrew Cuomo, congratulated him and thanked him for that tremendous support, and it was a terrible shame last week when that same governor went to his party's convention and lied about our president's leadership in this crisis,” Langworthy said.
Cuomo, in a five-minute speech delivered virtually at the Democratic National Convention last week, was critical of the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the federal government’s response “failed.”
"As they proved their way failed, we proved our way succeeded,” Cuomo said. "The failed federal government that watched New York get ambushed by their negligence, and then watched New York suffer, but then all through it, learned absolutely nothing.”
Cuomo, during a briefing with the press earlier Monday, repeated the same argument. He said that, if the Trump administration had laid out a national plan to respond to the virus, then lives could have been saved.
“The COVID problem in New York is the direct result of the negligence of the federal government,” Cuomo said.
Langworthy claimed the opposite during his remarks in North Carolina on Monday, saying Trump had come to New York’s aid at a time when the state was in the thick of the crisis.
He referenced, specifically, a medical naval ship that Trump sent to New York to provide more hospital capacity at the peak of the virus. The Trump administration also helped New York build a handful of temporary hospitals and expand testing capacity.
“When New York was facing some of its darkest hours a few months ago, our president stepped up and delivered for the people of the state of New York,” Langworthy said. “The sight of the hospital ship U.S.N.S. Comfort sailing into our harbors gave a clear and bold message to the people of our state that our president was there to support us.”
Langworthy also cited the rising crime rate in parts of New York, and the state’s growing budget deficit. While the spike in crime hasn’t proven to be the result of one, single factor, the deficit is a direct consequence of the state’s battle with the coronavirus.
New York is projecting a $30 billion budget deficit over the next two years due to lost revenue, and has spent upward of $5 billion on its response to the virus. Cuomo has asked the federal government to help recoup those losses, but lawmakers have failed to strike a deal.
Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Cuomo, responded to Langworthy’s attack with one of his own Monday.
"If Langworthy really believes this garbage, keep him away from bleach and hydroxychloroquine for his own sake,” Azzopardi said.