“This is a divided nation, we knew it was going to be a close election,” Cuomo told WAMC Radio’s Alan Chartock. “You look at the votes, it looks like Joe Biden is going to win,” he said — deflecting a question of whether he’d plan to run in 2024 if Trump ekes out a second term.
Cuomo can’t wait for an end to “Trump polarization, Trump paralysis. Biden will be the opposite,” he said.
The governor’s near-daily briefings and showering of abuse on the Trump administration have catapulted him to national prominence this year. He’s the current head of the National Governors Association and has a book out on fighting the virus. Comedian John Mulaney’s opening SNL monologue riffed on the “New York Tough” governor (who, again today, denied reports that he’d transferred his daughter’s policeman boyfriend way up to the Canadian border).
Cuomo has led New York, the former pandemic epicenter, to the state with the third-lowest infection rate in the country after Maine and Vermont, without much help from the feds, he likes to stress. “I believe if he had handled COVID right he could have won this election,” he said of Trump.
“The White House is very angry at you,” said Charock. “They say you miss all their briefings” with governors.
“I have also missed circuses,” said Cuomo. ”I think a circus would teach me more about COVID. I was on the last call. It was a joke … It’s basically, ‘We’ve turned the corner, everything is great.’” Then, he said, they open it to questions. “Republican Governor One: ‘This is going great.’ Republican Governor Two: ‘God Bless Trump.’ Republican Governor Three: ‘It’s never been better.’ I say, ‘Can someone call on me?’ No one calls [on me].”
Assuming Trump does lose, what’s the worst he can do between now and January 21, when the new president starts, asked Chartock. Cuomo said he’s really worried about the administration’s restriction on shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine, when it’s ready. The federal government is requiring that states agree to provide what amounts to the immigration status of individuals before administering a vaccine, or it won’t send them, he said. “It’s the same thing they tried to do on the census,” Cuomo said.
“He will fill judgeships and appointments all across the government and try to embed his people and will sign as many regulations as he can which will take time to undo,” he added.
COVID costs have pushed New York and other states and cities across the U.S. massively into the red. With a Biden victory, “We know there is going to be a state and local [aid] package and that will go a long way to” helping the New York economy. “If Trump [wins] we would really be in the soup.”
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