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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Contradicts President Donald Trump: There Are Still Laws And Facts; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: 778 People Died In Last 24 Hours; Andrew Cuomo: States In Bidding Over Tests, With PPE; Andrew Cuomo: We Think We Are At The Apex, Hospitalizations Down A Tad; Andrew Cuomo: President Donald Trump Clearly Spoiling For A Fight Over Authority. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired April 14, 2020 - 12:00   ET



GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): And that could be. The Federal Government has tremendous capacity that we need now. So yes, he's right on all of that. He's right that we asked for cooperation and assistance and he's right that he delivered and I said that all along but this - it can't exist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- how many COVID cases at the --?

CUOMO: I don't have anything specific to talk to him about today. There is no action item for us to talk about.


CUOMO: I don't have - be my pleasure to speak with him but we don't have anything that is. Do we have anything pending no? I did speak to the White House this morning about a hospital matter. But other than that we don't have anything immediate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --guidance from the President about your role in reopening you said yesterday that behind giving Governors any guidance and the role?

CUOMO: No. We haven't had that conversation. And look this is a shift in federal position which is also fine by the way. We're entering a new phase the "Reopening phase" on the first phase which was the close down phase. The President took a different path. The President did not close down the economy he did do the travel ban with China.

And he was right on the travel ban with China. The close down of the economy was left to the Governor's. And I closed down New York. Governor Pritzker close down Illinois, Governor Lamont close down Connecticut did at different time's different ways but he left that responsibility to closing down of the economy to the Governor's.

You get to the reopening of the economy. For the Governor's closed it down wouldn't the Governor's reopening? President - this is no - I have a different model that I'm envisioning. That's okay too but it's a shift but it's okay. But then what is that model. And let's talk about who does what which is the intelligent conversation we have to have? How do we do this testing? How does that come up the scale? I can't. Do it. How do we do this technology and I understand he's right it raises constitutional questions? And he really wants that cell phone in your pocket to be a tracking device, right.

Okay so let's talk through how we do that? How do we disinfect a public transit system? That has to be understood. How do we have masks for every New Yorker? How do we do that? How do we get ten, twenty million masks so we have that added protection?

How do we get the gloves? How do we make sure God forbid there's a second wave where there is another uptick that we have the medical equipment we need after we just went through this horrendous hurry up exercise?

By the way where's the funding for states to help do this? I'm broke. There's no fancy way to say that we have a $10 billion deficit. What the state should do this and do this and do this and do this? I don't have two nickels to rub together and the past federal legislation didn't give us anything.

The only thing you gave the states was the Medicaid money doesn't give us anything to do any of this. They talked about it in the next package of legislation if there is one but that's the intelligent conversation to have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will he have this conversation with you?

CUOMO: I have always had an open line of communication with him. I mean they've been times in the past when he hasn't been happy with me and I haven't been through - throwing bouquets to him but we've always communicated and I'm sure we'll communicate now.

But I just want to make my position clear I am not going to fight with him. I don't want this is no time for any division between the Federal Government and the State Governments and the. Governors who I worked with Democrats, Republican Governor in Massachusetts who had a political conspiracy Governor Baker is a Republican.

This is not about Democratic or Republican it's just not. This is about New York 10,000 lives lost. These were not 10,000 Democrats or 10,000 Republicans it was 10,000 people. Forget the darn politics everyone's tired with that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --you see the names of nursing homes and how many COVID cases - that Ohio and Connecticut still have? - say that there is no --.

CUOMO: Okay. You want to speak to a member Jim?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We put out the nursing home deaths data by county yesterday and as you could see some of them had one case. What we're worried about is personal privacy protection working with the Department of Health there's more than - there's about 600 nursing homes in the state.

This goes for hospitals as well as there are some very small hospitals where they report out one or two deaths a day. We just want to go through the data and make sure we're not really seeing any potential personal information and as soon as that's done that will be made available for people. So that's why we put the aggregate numbers out by county that's what we're going through.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --specific outbreaks at different nursing homes so it is hard to tell but you know what are - where are - are there any nursing homes in particular that the states made a huge problem?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're seeing issues like I talked about yesterday hospitalizations in different parts of the state we look at - we look at total beds being used. We look at - we look at all of that. In certain downstate parts of the region New York City in the outer boroughs and Nassau County we have seen increased cases but that has gone across the board whether it would be hospitalizations or nursing homes as well. So that's now part of the county data that you do see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said that there have been 60,000 cases that you guys have the capacity to do math. But so one is that true, 60,000 a month but then Mayor De Blasio said that they're going to start being able to do a 100,000 tests a week. 50 homegrown - 50,000 homegrown efforts 50,000 purchased from Indiana Company? So how does that coordinate with state efforts? And again is that 60,000 capacities cracked?

CUOMO: The - it was signed on the dotted line. What's happening with the testing companies is the same thing that happened with medical equipment PPE and ventilators. There are just a handful of companies that produce the private tests and they're all private tests by the way.

A handful of companies that do it and now every state are going to those companies to buy the tests. I've spoken to the head of the several companies myself. And they have a limited production. And now they have to allocate it to 50 states.

And we're again in a bidding war competition with other states. I would say that Federal Government do you take that please don't replicate the 50 state pandemoniums? You won't talk about increased federal role.

Let FEMA do the testing. FEMA should have in my opinion done all the purchasing of the medical equipment and they should have allocated. Why am I now competing for private testing capacity and private testing machines with Illinois and California?

I want to get out of the EBay competition businesses for vital medical equipment and now vital testing. I would say the President you take it. God bless you because you have different bids and different promises from companies to different governments all across the country. Like I bought 17,000 ventilators and then I didn't get. We only got about 3000, 2500 the same thing's going to happen with the testing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The city can get 50,000--

CUOMO: Well, that's what. They're told that from a company. Do I believe we're going to see those numbers actually produced? No because I think the same thing is going to happen that we just went through for the past month with those companies are going to get oversubscribed they then going to bid up the price and its going to go to the highest bidder.

We learned this lesson. I saw this movie. I just looked at for the past month. It cost taxpayers tremendous amounts of money. Private companies got very rich. You want to talk about going to a new phase with a different model let's inform it from the past model.

Tell FEMA you buy all the tests for the country allocate them by need. This is where the cases are New York your experts saying are the cases. Illinois you're white person of cases, Massachusetts Z percent of the cases. The Federal Government is going to buy them and then the Federal Government's going to allocate them.

Not this - you know let's give each government or level of government functions that they perform best.


CUOMO: And one of them really painful lessons was all this crazy competing by states and cities for medical equipment. We're going to do that again? That makes no sense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The serological tests and what's the plan if those can get scaled up in a way that is needed to reopen --?

CUOMO: What is the accuracy of the system?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some - it varies there are many different tests there. We're looking at the tests that have you know over 95 percent accuracy. We are working to scale this up both by our public lab which is our state lab the private sector labs that are out there looking at those as well as hospitals which have labs as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The false positive issue because if some of the factors works but they don't actually have antibody tests and - greatest of role?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we are looking at that for example our state lab to test that we've developed is basically 6 standard deviations out which basically means that you're really way out there over the 99 percent accuracy if not higher.

CUOMO: You are right. You are right there are different private sector tests with different accuracy rates and that's one of the other complications. Go by tests whose test which tests what level of accuracy? And that I think it's something we have to figure out one way or the other but I would say that's something the Federal Government should take.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the curiosity on that at this point? How many anti body tests can you do? You mentioned a couple of thousand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the state we are - will be by next week at 2,000 tests that we will be able to do per week right at that point. Sorry the 2,000 tests per day next week yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But that is also look a long way to go and you say that 19 million people the--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right that's that part but we are also working with some of the private sector companies to be able to get in the tens of thousands of tests as well as the hospitals. Several hospitals have developed tests. There are different ways to do these tests.

You could do as a blood test. We are looking at a finger stick test as well where you just do a little blind spot and this technology for that as well.

CUOMO: --follow up on that for a second. Look you could have a whole symposium on testing. There are two types of tests the antibody test and the diagnostic test. The antibody test the State Health Department has a test and you're right it's very limited capacity. Let's say they can do you said 2,000 a day.

So let's say 14,000 a week. What are 14,000 a week going to do for you? And by the way the whole anti - what can the antibody population really be in the scope of things, right? Antibody population people who had the illness and have recovered okay, that's important to know and we're very aggressive on the antibody testing.

But how many people are going to test positive, right? What percent of the population at this point do you think had the Coronavirus? What could that number be? 20 percent, 10 percent okay you want to find that 10 percent, 20 percent but then that's not enough to restart and get back to normalcy.

That diagnostic test is going to be key and now think of the volume on that diagnostic test. We're nineteen million people how many diagnostic tests do you want to buy for 19 million people? And then multiply that by the nation. Look at the need and I'm telling you, you literally have a handful of private sector companies that do this now.

Well, how do you scale that up? I don't know. How did you get a rocket ship 220,000 miles back from the moon 50 years ago? But if you could figure that out you can figure this out. And if the Federal Government wants to know a valuable role this is going to be a key element to all of this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For testing everybody for Coronavirus in the entire state has a prerequisite to giving me --?

CUOMO: No, no, no. No you would never get there. If you said that was the prerequisite you'd be close to hiding from item. But you want testing capacity as a tool where businesses can use it as a tool. You want temperature taking right? You open up a business they're going to say I want to take everybody's temperatures as they walk in the door.

All right, how do you take the temperature of 500 people walking into business? You know just think of all the things you have to do and then divide it between the Federal Government and the State Government. We have to clean all the buses and all the trains.

We want to clean all the park benches. We want to have a disinfectant solution where we have a cleaning protocol that we've never had before. We want the technology to do the tracing once we find the person who was positive and we can retrace them through the technology.


CUOMO: How do we balance that with individual liberties? There's a lot to do here and lets - the states cannot do this on their own. I'm not shy about capacity. I'm very proud of what we do in the State Government. When I tell you I can't do something it's the first time you've heard me say that since I've been Governor. But I'm telling you we can't do this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Earlier when the - some updated the - and you said that COVID and nursing homes like - it was the first area group through the complete lockdown. People can come in now. So why is it that we're seeing hundreds of people dying in nursing homes from COVID it are like for their lax --?

CUOMO: Because you cannot stop it. You cannot stop it. Look we have no visitors coming to a nursing home. You want to hear about talk about a harsh policy. No visitors it must be close to a month. You're in a nursing home you can't get visitors.

The staff has to be checked when they come in every day but by the way taking somebody's temperature that's not a fool proof mechanism. And any one of those staff members could be walking in with a spark in their pocket to the torture the metaphor and that population is so vulnerable.

It just takes one staff member who didn't have a temperature but did have the virus to walk in and now you're going to have a serious problem. Do you want to comment on that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The point that the Governor just raised is at the crux of all this that they're individuals with multi organ system many other problems heart problems diabetes asthma respiratory problems where their immune system is just not as good or as robust. And so they get sick with whether it is fist or the flu and they end up in the hospital.

Many of the patients that you would mention that sick and die a lot of those they were transferred to the hospital by at 95 years of age with multiple medical problems. It's a tough battle for them.

CUOMO: --what you've learned is you've learned your strength and your weakness right? You've learned that you can control the virus and that's a powerful lesson because we won't know we sure that we could right? But you've also learned your weakness.

You cannot hermetically sealed society. You can't medically seal a nursing home. You can't put it in a bubble and say I can protect these vulnerable people. You can't. You can't. Isolation no visitors every staff member has to be checked and amber, one amber finds its way in and then it is fire through dry grass.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: You've been listening to the Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo in his daily coronavirus briefing as always and a lot of important information out of that briefing. Some of it on politics much of it on the medical fights against the coronavirus on the politics very quickly.

The Governor saying he has no interest in a fight with the President. President Trump asserting he has total authority to reopen the economy and to tell states what to do? Governor Cuomo saying he had no interest in a fight with the President but he also made clear he profoundly disagrees with him quoting from Alexander Hamilton back at the beginning of the Republic citing the 10th amendment of the constitution and saying there are laws and there are facts even in this political environment.

So clearly a continuing disagreement there but the Governor trying to say I need the President's help. I don't make a fight but I disagree. On the medical front the Governor presenting what he believed to be good news saying the hospitalizations are down in New York the intubations meaning patients requiring a ventilator down in New York.

He believes there at the apex of plateau still a painful plateau introducing just yesterday 778 more New Yorkers dying that after day to day increase of 671 the day before the total in New York now approaching 11,000, 10,834.

Let's discuss what we learned about the fight against the Coronavirus. Joining me now is Ali Mokdad he's the Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. That's the facility the design the very influential Coronavirus model often cited by the White House.

Professor, thank you so much for being with us. When we listen to Governor Cuomo and you talk about hospitalizations tracking down intubations tracking down a plateau a sad plateau in the death toll as someone who's running the models looking at the data what does that tell you about where we are?

ALI MOKDAD, PROFESSOR OF HEALTH METRICS SCIENCES, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS & EVALUATION: Good morning so there is epidemics going on right now in the United States. So the state that implemented the social distancing measures you see exactly what the Governor just described.


MOKDAD: It's coming down and we expect that it will go down below our threshold of one city and that's per million in the first week of May. And you have a different epidemic going in state that delayed implementation of social distancing. What it's coming it's still going up it was black though sometimes around the end of April 1st of May and will go down below what we feel comfortable in the first week of June.

And that's the challenge that we're facing right now. A city like New York or the state like New York could start looking at opening business in early May or mid May. How could they control people coming from example - for example from Georgia or Florida where the epidemic is still going on?

KING: Well, it's a key point you make because the Governor talked about it. He talked about it he said look he's anxious to reopen too but he says he doesn't have the testing. He doesn't know how businesses will take the temperature for example of people coming in especially if you're in a large institution whether that's a factory or giant office building.

And he said we could erase all the progress they have made in one week if we do it wrong. Do you agree with that?

MOKDAD: That's very true. We can go back but not out of danger yet and the virus is still circulating and we are all of us are susceptible. So we have to be very careful how we face out of recovery and how we could start slowly bringing people back to work? But testing is what we need testing, testing and testing.

KING: Testing, testing and testing so you have the New York - I'll call at progress. I'm reluctant even to use those words when you have 757, 780 people dying from day to day but it is less discouraging news out of the State of New York. I want to look at the models you put.

One is the projected hospital resource use and if you look at it now the model projections your institute now say you believe we could get to a point by late June early July where we don't have the hospital crisis and in fact hospitalization is down almost to zero.

At the same time the total deaths projected in your model right now by August 68,841 where did you see the numbers on your screen? We're just shy of 24,000 right now. When you look at the 68,841 that's up a bit from the projections just a few days ago what factors into that the increase in the projection? And what is critical to keeping it at that number or hopefully pushing it down?

MOKDAD: So very good question. What we're doing right now we're assuming the states that have not implemented the social distancing will implement them in one week. That's how I would model is working and will assume there was faith in place until the end of May.

And what you see whenever we release another model and state have not implemented the social distancing that - increase of deaths and it will keep increasing unfortunately. And you see in the states that have implemented them it's coming down.

KING: Professor Mokdad, thank you so much for your insights as we try to sort this out. Thank you I appreciate your time.

MOKDAD: Thank you.

KING: Thank you sir. When we come back the President says he has total authority to reopen the economy. You just heard the New York State Governor say he disagrees. Today on Twitter the President suggesting Governors are thinking about mutiny that's next.



KING: On the President's schedule today at the White House a meeting with recovered Coronavirus patients. This comes as the President now in a battle with Governors across America. Just moments ago you heard the New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo saying he is clear the President is "Spoiling for a fight over power, who controls the reopening of the economy" during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Joining me to discuss White House Correspondent for "The New York Times" Maggie Haberman White House Reporter for "The Washington Post" Toluse Olorunnipa fascinating to watch this play out Maggie you have both the experience of being a New Yorker and a fantastic White House Correspondent.

Andrew Cuomo moments ago saying he doesn't want to fight with the President but then listing a number of disagreements with the President quoting Alexander Hamilton citing the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. Saying simply sorry Mr. President you have your facts wrong here. He says he doesn't want to fight but he clearly wants to lay out the disagreements.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: It's actually interesting. I had a slightly different take on that John having observed Andrew Cuomo for many years. The criticism has always been that he has difficulty modulating and has a temper and has a dark side.

Some of the same complaint they're made up the President the differences that Andrew Cuomo can clearly control hits when he wants to do and he has decided that it is a much better calculation to look as if he is trying to make peace with the President. He was saying all these criticisms.

He was making his king comparison. He was saying he doesn't have this power but I don't want to have a fight. It's recognition to that he does need the Federal Government to some extent. But I think he is trying to walk that line very carefully. We will see how the President takes up this afternoon?

KING: It's an interesting point you make the Governor trying to find the sweet spot if you will. The President doesn't really look for the sweet spot. He trusts his instincts and his reflex usually in these cases. And Toluse including that maybe the Governor read this tweet and decided to Maggie's point you need to be a lot more careful.

The President tweeting this morning tell the Democratic Governors that mutiny on the bounty was one of my all time favorite movies a good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch especially when the mutineers needs so much from the captain too easy.

That's essentially the President said this in a different way at the briefing yesterday essentially a threat to find me I have leverage. I do control Federal Resources Governor Cuomo for example saying why don't we getting FEMA involved in testing? The President trying to say I've got a pretty good club here.

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: That's exactly right. When we've heard the President say I've given all these things to various states and now when I want them to open up they're going to have to do my bidding. They're going to have to follow my orders.

This is a President who said yesterday controversy is not a bad thing. I like a little bit of controversy. Now he's talking about exciting videos and films about mutiny. This is a President who sees this pandemic as an opportunity to sort of shine a spotlight on his own Presidency.

He's going out and doing these press briefings on a daily basis sometimes speaking for over an hour. Yesterday's clocked in at two hours and twenty minutes plus. He wants this to soak up the spotlight. He has talked about his ratings.