ALBANY — Once again, Gov. Andrew Cuomo decried bringing politics into the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
“I understand states are responsible for the reopening,” he said during his Wednesday update. “That’s been the position of the states, it’s also been the position of the federal government.
“So states are doing reopening,” he continued. “States are responsible for testing. States are responsible for tracing. States are responsible for their healthcare system. States are responsible for the enforcement of all the procedures around reopening. But, at the same time, the federal government has a role to play and the federal government has to do its part.”
The governor said there cannot be a national recovery if state and local governments aren’t funded. He said the states most impacted by COVID-19 represent more than a third of the national GDP.
“How can you tell one-third of the country to go to heck, and then think you’re going to see an economic rebound?” Cuomo asked. “Also state economies, local economies, that’s what the national economy is made of. What is the national economy, but for a function of the states?”
Calling giving money to the states most affected by COVID-19 a “blue state bailout” is an ugly, un-American response, Cuomo said.
He said New York puts more money into the federal pot than any other state and the senators calling the situation the “blue state bailout” come from the states that take the most out of it. He said the federal government made the redistribution worse with the passing of SALT three years ago, having the states paying more into the federal government and increasing the amount being taken from these states, including New York.
“So my point to our friends in the Congress; stop abusing New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, California, Michigan and Pennsylvania,” he said. “Stop abusing the states who bore the brunt of the COVID virus through no fault of their own. Why did New York have so many cases? It’s nothing about New York!. It’s because the virus came from Europe and no one in this nation told us.”
Cuomo said now is the time for a real public infrastructure plan as national studies show 56,000 structurally deficient bridges and one out of five miles of highway are in poor condition. He said the government did it before; in the midst of the Great Depression, the United States created 8.5 million jobs and built 650,000 miles of roads, new bridges, tunnels and airports.
“Don’t play politics at the expense of the citizens you represent,” he said.
In other news, in New York hospitalizations and number of new cases is down, and on Tuesday there were 74 deaths — 48 in hospitals and 26 in nursing homes.