The way Governor Andrew Cuomo sees it, the White House raised the white flag in the war against COVID-19 on Sunday, when Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “We’re not going to control the pandemic.”
Meadows’ statement, Cuomo told reporters during a Sunday conference call, “encapsulated the way they’ve handled COVID from the start.” Ten months into the crisis, COVID-19 continues to ravage the United States, with more than 85,000 new cases reported on Friday, Oct. 23 — the highest one-day total ever.
Mark Meadows: “We’re not going to control the pandemic, we are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”
Jake Tapper: “Why aren’t we going to get control of the pandemic?”
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 25, 2020
After suffering a horrific outbreak in March and April that killed more than 20,000, New York flattened the curve and has kept the virus under control since, Cuomo said. On Saturday, with 120,000 tests results reported, the statewide positivity rate was just 1.3%, including the recent “micro-clusters” of COVID-19 cases in Brooklyn, Queens and Rockland and Orange counties.
That proved New York could control the virus, the governor said Sunday. As for Meadows and the Trump regime, Cuomo inferred that they could have controlled the COVID-19 pandemic nationally if they were actually interested in doing so.
“They capitulated. They surrendered. They surrendered without firing a shot,” Cuomo said. “It was the great American surrender. Americans don’t surrender. And they (the Trump administration) didn’t even put up a fight. What we learned in New York is that if you put up a fight, you would’ve won, because New York won. Other states won also.”
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis proves, in Cuomo’s eyes, that the Trump administration never took the battle seriously — repeatedly ignoring the advice of medical experts to institute policies such as a national mask mandate.
Trump has publicly eschewed mask-wearing even though repeated studies indicate that masks are helpful in stopping the spread of COVID-19 — and even after he and members of his own family became infected with COVID-19.
Instead, Cuomo charged Trump adopted a theory of “preemptive capitulation” when it comes to bringing the pandemic under control.
“President Trump, commander in chief, gets attacked by an enemy and his policy is preemptive capitulation,” Cuomo said. “That’s what they did, and now we have 217,000 people dead because of preemptive capitulation. … There was no reason to capitulate to this enemy, because we can control it.”
As for the progress in New York, Cuomo applauded progress made in reducing the COVID-19 spread in the micro-clusters. On Saturday, the infection rate in the clusters was down to 3.1%.
Without counting the micro-clusters, New York’s positivity rate on Oct. 24 was 1.06%. Statewide, 1,015 people remain hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms, down 30 from the previous day.
Of those hospitalized, 227 are in intensive care and 118 of them are on intubation. Twelve New Yorkers died of the illness Saturday.