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Cuomo, Trump Escalate War Of Words

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo momentarily put their political differences aside, meeting in person and speaking on the phone about the federal and state responses to COVID-19. But the relationship appears to be a thing of the past two months before Election Day.

Cuomo has kept a laundry list of gripes with the federal government: the 2017 cap on state and local tax deductions, federal immigration policies and enforcement, and the lack of state aid since the House passed the HEROES Act in May, to name a few.

The Democrat convened a last-minute conference call with reporters Wednesday night, reacting to word that President Trump wants to explore defunding what he called "anarchist jurisdictions" including New York City.

Cuomo claimed that wouldn’t be legal, and called the Republican the worst president in history with regard to his hometown. He added Trump moved his official residence to Florida because he would not be welcome back, saying: “he can't have enough bodyguards to walk through New York City.”

“He was dismissed as a clown in New York City," Cuomo said. "Those who know him best, like him least. That’s true about New York City. It’s true about his own family."

Cuomo also blamed Trump for New York's devastating COVID-19 numbers, and said "he did nothing" about the virus until March 15, instead blaming China.

Thursday morning, Trump tweeted a response, writing Cuomo “has the worst record on death and China Virus. 11,000 people alone died in nursing homes because of his incompetence.”

Later, the president posted that Cuomo “should get his puppet New York prosecutors, who have been illegally after me and my family for years,” to investigate his own incompetence in dealing with coronavirus outbreaks.

Soon after, Cuomo convened his second conference call in 15 hours.

“We watched him as tabloid fodder for years. We know him, and those who know him know he’s unsuited to be president,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo again brought up secret recordings of Trump’s sister, former federal judge Maryanne Trump, made by the president’s estranged niece, Mary Trump.

"His sister said, the change of stories, the lack of preparation, the lying, holy sh-t. He has no principles. He doesn’t read. Donald is cruel. He was a brat. You can’t trust him. It was all about him. Who said that? His sister. Former federal judge,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo was an early backer of former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee.

Besides politics, Cuomo also made some policy announcements on Thursday’s call.  With the new school year imminent, Cuomo says the state is creating an online dashboard for confirmed infections in schools. The state department of health will receive daily reports of coronavirus test results from schools and post them online.

“Parents, teachers will know how many test were conducted, and what the results of those tests are. I hope this will give teachers and parents some confidence that the plans are being implemented, and if the plans aren’t being implemented, we want to know that also,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo also announced that state-sanctioned casinos can reopen next Wednesday, if they have enhanced air filtration systems in place at 25 percent of capacity, with masks required. Beverage service on the gaming floor is not allowed, and casinos have to establish physical barriers for gamblers to host table games.

Cuomo added that New York City malls can open September 9th as well, at half capacity.