New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday took aim at President Trump, accusing the president of "enabling the virus" by making false and misleading statements about death toll has topped 130,000.and its impact on the nation. The governor made the comments as 40 out of 50 states are seeing coronavirus infections on the rise and the U.S.
Calling the virus a "major" problem, Cuomo implored Mr. Trump not to be a "co-conspirator" of COVID-19 by understating the severity of the pandemic. "He's facilitating the virus," Cuomo said. "He's enabling the virus."
Mr. Trump has continued to downplay the danger of the coronavirus, as more and more become infected in the U.S. In a speech on July 4, Mr. Trump declared that 99% of cases of COVID-19 are harmless. However, the World Health Organization has said about 20% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 progress to severe disease, including pneumonia and respiratory failure.
In addition, those with mild or no symptoms also can spread the virus to others who are more vulnerable.
On Saturday, Mr. Trump tweeted: "Our tremendous Testing success gives the Fake News Media all they want, CASES. In the meantime, Deaths and the all important Mortality Rate goes down. ... Anybody need any Ventilators-?"
However, increased testing does not fully account for the rise in cases. People are also infecting each other more than before as distancing rules recede and "community spread" picks up. And as cases surge, so has demand for ventilators once again in parts of the U.S.
"He makes up facts," Cuomo said of the president. "He makes up science."
While a majority of states are reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases, Cuomo on Monday touted New York's progress in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The governor said there were just nine lives lost overnight due to COVID-19.
Cuomo said the state's phased reopening approach has been working.
"We're actually down from where we were when we started reopening," he said.
The governor said no decision has been made regarding school reopening in the fall. Cuomo has mandated that all school districts across the state come up with a fall plan.
"We're not going to say that children should go back to school until we know it's safe, right? We have some time, this is a very fluid situation. We'll get the data. We will make a decision. In the meantime, I'm telling all school districts to come up with a reopening plan. But we don't yet know if we are going to reopen," Cuomo said.