There's no love lost between President Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
With the President repeatedly hinting to the press that he would like to "reopen" America in direct defiance of health official's advice, Governor Cuomo responded with a promise of legal action if he tried.
"If he ordered me to reopen in a way that would endanger the public health of the people of my state, I wouldn't do it. And we would have a constitutional challenge between the state and the federal government, and that would go into the courts. And that would be the worst possible thing he could do at this moment, would be to act dictatorial and to act in a partisan, divisive way."
.@NYGovCuomo: “If [Trump] ordered me to reopen in a way that would endanger the public health of the people of my s… https://t.co/aLQuHL4scR— New Day (@New Day)1586866412.0
The authority to require businesses to close in a public health crisis is what is a known as a "police power," and… https://t.co/wLBoRkZ0We— NBC News (@NBC News)1586917143.0
Though Cuomo told the press that researchers believe the "worst is behind us," he also cautioned that returning to normal behaviors prematurely could quickly wipe away any lives saved.
"I have 10,000 deaths in my state. This virus didn't kill Democrats or Republicans, it killed Americans, and it killed New Yorkers, and I'm not going to go down a political road."
Trump responded to Cuomo on Twitter, saying he "begged" for supplies.
Meanwhile, as the federal government fails to offer the leadership necessary for many states to function properly, governors have been banding together to bring America through this crisis.
Groups of leaders on both coasts have created collaborative task forces to determine when the best time to come out of social distancing measures will be, regardless of what the White House orders.
Some governors not too pleased with Trump's claim of "total" authority: https://t.co/D4zvk2d9DY • Pritzker: “He mi… https://t.co/GC81opTZis— Mike Baker (@Mike Baker)1586932111.0
When this fact was brought up by reporters at a recent press briefing, President Trump angrily claimed he had "total authority" to do as he liked.
When asked whether any governors agreed with him, Trump snapped:
"I haven't asked anybody, because I don't have to."
CUOMO ON TRUMP: "This wasn’t a bending of the constitution, what the president said last night, it was a BREAKING… https://t.co/0vFMBC0ES6— Greg (@Greg)1586895901.0
Trump also claimed falsely that "governors can't do anything without the approval of the president of the United States."
"I don't know why the president said it," @NYGovCuomo said. "It's not legal. It's a total abrogation of the Constit… https://t.co/42WkT2OpG2— Democratic Coalition (@Democratic Coalition)1586858175.0
Cuomo addressed these comments by the President as well, saying:
"We had this argument. It was done a long time ago, people by the name of Hamilton and Jefferson and Madison and Washington, and they concluded this. They wrote a document that's called the Constitution of the United States."
"It says the federal government does not have absolute power. It says the exact opposite of what the president said. ... We would have had King George Washington. We didn't have King George Washington, and we don't have King Trump. We have President Trump."
New York Governor Cuomo, on Trump’s assertion that he had total authority over the decision on when to reopen busin… https://t.co/DmPADsU5BR— Reuters (@Reuters)1586923800.0
Despite their heated back-and-forth through the press, Cuomo still insists he'd like to avoid conflict with the President.
"Unless he suggested that we do something that would be reckless and would endanger the health and welfare of the people in the state, then I would have no choice."
Hopefully President Trump will decide, at some point, to be the bigger person and focus on helping the tens of thousands of Americans in need. But people's hopes aren't too high.
Cuomo's book All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life is available here.