One of the most consistent criticisms against President Trump for his handling of the global pandemic has been that he spent too long pretending the virus wasn't a problem while he could have been preparing the country for one of the greatest medical and logistical challenges in a generation.
Asked about his earlier reluctance to face the problem head-on, President Trump claimed that he's always known exactly how dangerous the virus was, but downplayed the threat to keep people happy.
From his home, where he's self-quarantined due to contracting the virus, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo wasn't having any of it.
On Tuesday, April 7, Trump admitted to reporters that he was perfectly aware of the approaching threat as he repeatedly claimed to Americans that there was nothing to worry about, saying:
"I'm a cheerleader for this country. I don't want to create havoc and shock and everything else... I'm not gonna go out and start screaming, 'This could happen, this could happen.'"
While there's a case to be made for putting on a brave face while taking the steps necessary to protect America, Trump actually coupled his cheery words with a lack of action behind the scenes. When the pandemic reached our shores, it found America largely unprepared, with a severe shortage of tests, protective medical equipment, ventilators and healthcare.
@thehill Well, let's be fair now. The word "cheerleader" does have the word "leader" in it.— Keeva (@Keeva)1586357127.0
Chris Cuomo called Trump out on his empty words, saying:
"That's exactly what leadership is. Anybody can tell people what they want to hear and make it easy. And then you know what you get? Exactly where we are right now. That was the most asinine statement of leadership I have ever heard."
@thehill Cuomo is absolutely correct.— Kathy Higgins Jeffers (@Kathy Higgins Jeffers)1586357492.0
"We've got to do better than that. This president must do better than that."
@onedaylight @CuomoPrimeTime @ChrisCuomo We need a quarterback not a cheerleader— MMAparicio (@MMAparicio)1586318461.0
People on Twitter agreed with Cuomo, saying the primary role of the President is to run the country, not to try and convince its people everything is going great.
@thehill Cuomo is right. I would argue the the job of POTUS is not to be cheerleader but regardless, one can be a c… https://t.co/UR5SSXbRtQ— Diane Toucan (@Diane Toucan)1586357651.0
@HardBackStrider @Kimereeann1 @CuomoPrimeTime @ChrisCuomo He's a "cheerleader." Sitting on the sidelines watching t… https://t.co/onPvjVYvY2— Lynn Cheney (@Lynn Cheney)1586364158.0
Cuomo also covered the virus from other angles, getting statements from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and commenting on the state of the Wisconsin primary elections.
🔥🔥 from @JoeBiden tonight with @chriscuomo: "He is the commander-in-chief, he should be taking full responsibility… https://t.co/VxbwGOPcgC— Michael Gwin (@Michael Gwin)1586310753.0
"What happens in Wisconsin makes you even more upset when you are sick the way I am," @ChrisCuomo says on Wisconsin… https://t.co/kKqYsB5Bq3— Cuomo Prime Time (@Cuomo Prime Time)1586312807.0
Many thanked Cuomo for speaking truth to power even while sick.
@Independent I love the Cuomo brothers 🤗🤗🤗 get well soon @ChrisCuomo— ❤️🙏🏻Sophia🙏🏻❤️ (@❤️🙏🏻Sophia🙏🏻❤️)1586368114.0
@CuomoPrimeTime @ChrisCuomo Thank you. I’m laying here on Day 13 of this virus showing up in my body, unable to sl… https://t.co/K28iP79t5F— OneDay (@OneDay)1586316924.0
@CuomoPrimeTime @ChrisCuomo Thank you for saying this because I completely lost it when he called himself a cheerle… https://t.co/yMgyMA4Irj— Lynn Cheney (@Lynn Cheney)1586308977.0
Get well soon, Chris Cuomo. Hopefully the world you return to will be a little less sick than the current one.