Apr 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Cuomo says "king Trump" could cause "constitutional crisis" with forced coronavirus reopening

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took to MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday to push back on President Trump's assertion that he has the sole authority to end states' stay-at-home measures and move to reopen the economy from the coronavirus crisis.

The big picture: Cuomo said Trump "basically declared himself King Trump" with his claim, adding that he would oppose a too-early reopening that put public health at risk and would create "a constitutional crisis like you haven't seen in decades."

  • Cuomo argued the federal government already passed the responsibility to shut down the economy to the states. "I'm in this position because the federal government, frankly, didn't want to be in this position," Cuomo said.

Why it matters: Under the Constitution, the president and federal government do not have the power to implement nationwide measures to stop the spread of the virus — or move toward a reopening — though Trump has used his daily briefings and social media to influence governors' decisions.

  • Cuomo's comments come a day after the governor announced that a coalition of northeastern states will form a regional task force to guide the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

What he said:

"The only way this situation gets worse is if the president creates a constitutional crisis. If he says to me, I declare it open, and that is a public health risk or it's reckless with the welfare of the people of my state, I will oppose it. And then we will have a constitutional crisis like you haven't seen in decades where states tell the federal government, we're not going to follow your order. It would be terrible for this country, it would be terrible for this president."

The other side: Trump responded to Cuomo in a tweet, "Cuomo’s been calling daily, even hourly, begging for everything, most of which should have been the state’s responsibility, such as new hospitals, beds, ventilators, etc. I got it all done for him, and everyone else, and now he seems to want Independence! That won’t happen!"

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Health experts fear that the protests breaking out across the U.S. could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.

The state of play: Being outside may limit the danger, but close quarters, yelling, and potential exposure to tear gas, which causes coughing and crying, increase the risk of spread. It's recommended that those who are protesting be tested for the coronavirus.

May 31, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country

Protestors rally in Minneapolis. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Health experts fear that massive protests against police brutality in major cities around the United States could result in new coronavirus outbreaks due to the close proximity of demonstrators, AP reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. has already recorded more confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country in the world. A potential surge in cases stemming from the protests would come as many states are weeks into their phased reopening plans.

24 hours ago - World

U.S. sends Brazil 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine and 1,000 ventilators

President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

The White House announced on Sunday that the U.S. has sent 2 million doses of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to Brazil and that 1,000 ventilators will soon be delivered as well as the South American country becomes the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: The situation in Brazil, which has reported over 498,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 28,000 deaths, is threatening to spiral out of control as far-right President Jair Bolsonaro faces mounting criticism for downplaying the severity of the virus.