Cuomo calls coronavirus ‘European virus’ in DNC speech denigrating Trump

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic during his Monday night address to the Democratic National Convention, accusing the White House of “neglect” even as his own administration had been criticized for thousands of deaths in New York nursing homes.

“Our collective strength is exercised by government. It is, in fact, our immune system. And our current federal government is dysfunctional and incompetent. He couldn’t fight the virus. In fact, he didn’t even see it coming. The European virus infected the northeast as the White House was still obsessed with China, “Cuomo said during his speech, an apparent counterpoint to Trump’s labeling of COVID-19 as the” Chinese virus ” .

He added: “The virus had been attacking us for months before they even knew it was there. We have seen the failure of a government that tried to deny the virus, then tried to ignore it, then tried to politicize it. The federal government has failed. government that saw New York ambushed by their negligence, then saw New York suffer, but all the way through it learned nothing. ”

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During his speech, Cuomo made an effort to paint COVID-19 as a metaphor for the deeper political deficiencies in the country, claiming that “COVID is the symptom, not the disease.”

“Our nation is in crisis and in many ways COVID is just a metaphor,” he said. “A virus attacks when the body is weak and cannot defend itself. In recent years, the American body politic has been weakened. . ”

But Cuomo, a third-term governor who became one of the most prominent Democrats during the pandemic, has been criticized for his response to the crisis, which hit New York City early, killing more than 32,000 people – the largest number of deaths in the world. country.

The problem is Cuomo’s executive order in late March that essentially ordered nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients from hospitals, a measure designed to free up hospital beds. Faced with mounting pressure in May, Cuomo reversed the order.

The state has officially reported a death toll in nursing homes of over 6,600; However, unlike all other states with major epidemics, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property – and not people who were taken to hospitals and died there, according to l ‘Associated Press. The gap could add thousands of people to the state’s nursing home death toll.

The Cuomo administration refused to release the number, leading some to speculate that the state is intentionally manipulating the numbers.

The Republicans pushed back strongly. Michael Caputo, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Trump administration, tweeted after Cuomo’s speech that the governor is responsible for “sowing the seeds of an infection that has killed thousands of grandmothers and grown-ups -fathers ”.

“Does the #DemConvention know that @NYGovCuomo still underestimates senior deaths in nursing homes by counting only those who have died at home – not the thousands who have died in hospitals? Caputo wrote.

But Cuomo blamed the White House for the health and economic crisis duel, saying the United States – six months after the start of the pandemic – is still unprepared to fight the virus, which he says , “Ricochets across the country”.

The United States has nearly 5.5 million cases of COVID-19, the most in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 170,000 people have died from the virus – and cases continue to rise in many parts of the country.

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“We need a leader as good as our people. A leader who appeals to the best of us, not the worst. A leader who can unify, not divide, ”Cuomo said. “A leader who can uplift us, not tear us down. I know this man, I worked with this man… I saw his pain and I saw his heart. This man is Joe Biden. “

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