Governor Cuomo on President Trump’s COVID-19 Diagnosis: “Doing the Public a Disservice”

Governor Cuomo: “I’d like to make a comment about the President, what he’s been saying. We wished him well when we heard about his diagnosis with COVID and we wished the First Lady well. We sent them a great New York special care package, and I hope he’s back to 100 percent as quickly as possible. I think the President has an opportunity that he is missing and I think he has an opportunity to do a public service and I think he’s right now doing the public a disservice.”

Cuomo: “From the public service point of view, 210,000 people died. More people die in this country than countries around the world that were doing much worse than we were. From a public service point of view, “Don’t be afraid of COVID?” No. Be afraid of COVID. It can kill you. Don’t be cavalier. This is just more denial. This is where it started and you know, the President — God bless him — he tells you where he’s going. We know that when COVID started, he knew how bad it was going to be and he just lied about it.”

On September 6th, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo commented on President Trump’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis.

VIDEO of the Governor’s remarks is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of today’s remarks is available here.

A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:

Last point is I’d like to make a comment about the President, what he’s been saying. We wished him well when we heard about his diagnosis with COVID and we wished the First Lady well. We sent them a great New York special care package, and I hope he’s back to 100 percent as quickly as possible. I think the President has an opportunity that he is missing and I think he has an opportunity to do a public service and I think he’s right now doing the public a disservice. To say to the people of this country, “Look at me! Don’t worry about COVID. Look how well I’m doing!”

First of all, this is a funny disease. We hope you’re doing well, but the disease still has not run its course and it’s a little premature to say “I’m doing great,” right? You’re not really doing great until you test negative and then, by the way — there are people who test negative and have consequences that continue for weeks and months and months. This is a frightening virus. But the President is not analogous to the average person in this country, right? The average person gets COVID, they don’t get flown by helicopter to Walter Reed Hospital, and have a team of 20 doctors, millions of dollars of medical talent attend to their needs, receive experimental drugs that haven’t been available to the public and are administered just to the President under Compassionate Care, right?

So, there’s no analogy there. From the public service point of view, 210,000 people died. More people die in this country than countries around the world that were doing much worse than we were. From a public service point of view, “Don’t be afraid of COVID?” No. Be afraid of COVID. It can kill you. Don’t be cavalier. This is just more denial. This is where it started and you know, the President — God bless him — he tells you where he’s going. We know that when COVID started, he knew how bad it was going to be and he just lied about it.

We know that he had the White House memo done by Peter Navarro that said millions of people could get infected and he just lied about it. Woodward’s book, he actually has him on tape saying, “I know how bad it’s going to be, but I don’t want to tell the American people.” Yeah, that cost this nation, and that confusion cost this nation, many unnecessary lives and expense and pain and hardship. I was saying at that time, “Take it seriously.” The President was saying when it started, “It’s a hoax. It will be gone by Easter. It’s going to disappear like a miracle.” Yeah, none of that was true. None of it was true. He knew it wasn’t true and it’s not true now to say, “Don’t be afraid of COVID.”

Denial doesn’t works. It never does in life. It never does. “I don’t have a drinking problem. I don’t have a substance abuse problem. I don’t have a gambling problem.” Denial never works. Acknowledge the problem: it’s a frightening virus. Be smart, be careful. Don’t hide under your bed. We’re reopening, go about your business, but do it smartly and that’s what the President should be saying.