Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Trump speaks to human loss, Cuomo lashes out at President’s comments

Flowers on a green hillside at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California, overlooking the ocean in the background. Photo by Tony Andrews Photography

In his push to encourage states to reopen, Trump acknowledged today that this might come at a price, in regards to human life.

“It’s possible there will be some [deaths],” he said in an interview with ABC News, while traveling for the first trip outside of Washington in almost two months, to visit a factory manufacturing masks in Arizona. “But at the same time we’re gonna practice social distancing, we’re gonna be washing hands, we’re gonna be doing a lot of the things that we’ve learned to do.”

The president said that that people are dying in other ways, from drug abuse to suicide.

“We have to get our country back,” he added.

His comments came as a response to a statement made yesterday by Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and point man on the coronavirus taskforce, on the decision to reopen the country.

“It’s the balance of something that’s a very difficult choice: How many deaths and how much suffering are you willing to accept to get back to what you want to be,” he said. 

 Trump has ceased doing daily press conferences, instead holding meetings with a smaller number of reporters and in different settings. He said on Monday that the briefings will return, just not daily, adding that “everybody” enjoyed them.

But that hasn’t kept him from speaking out. And in an interview with the New York Post on Monday he showed his opposition to federal relief money being directed to so-called blue states, some of which have seen the biggest increases in coronavirus cases.

“It’s not fair to the Republicans because all the states that need help — they’re run by Democrats in every case,” he said. “Florida is doing phenomenal, Texas is doing phenomenal, the Midwest is, you know, fantastic — very little debt. You look at Illinois, you look at New York, look at California, you know, those three, there’s tremendous debt there, and many others.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo responded to Trump during his press briefing today.

“This is not a blue state issue. Every state has coronavirus cases,” he said. “It’s not just Democratic states that have an economic shortfall.”

Cuomo said that New York is dealing with a $13 billion  deficit and criticized the federal government for so far not having provided any aid to the state and local government, in order to fund police, healthcare and education. He also questioned the use of the term bailout. 

“I wasn’t asking for anything from the fed government before the coronavirus,” he said. “Because of the coronavirus, we need financial help in restarting the economy, and that’s what we’re asking for from the federal government. How do you call that a bailout? Which is such a loaded word. Such a rhetorical, hyperbolic word.”

Cuomo spent several minutes addressing Trump’s comments, going as far as pointing out that the state of New York has contributed more to the federal government than what it’s taken back “every year, for decades”.

On one thing, he and Trump seem to agree, that reopening the country is a balancing act between avoiding economic damage and saving human lives.

“There’s a cost to staying closed, no doubt. Economic cost, personal cost. There’s also a cost to reopening quickly. Either option has a cost,” Cuomo said. Although he added: “To me, I say, the cost of a human life – a human life is priceless, period. Our plan doesn’t have a trade-off. Our reopening says you monitor the data.”



Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

No Actors, But the Show Goes On

James Pothen December 5, 2020

New York City, a place of refuge 

Edith Rousselot December 4, 2020

Commuting in a pandemic world

Michelle Diaz December 3, 2020

Battling food insecurities during a pandemic

Courtney Guarino December 3, 2020


Justin McGown December 3, 2020

Honk!: Cars earn a special spot in 2020

Luana Harumi December 3, 2020

Working out looks very different during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang December 2, 2020

One kitchen’s transformation in the age of isolation

Isabel Beer December 2, 2020

Nursing homes are filled with sadness and loss during pandemic shut down

Inga Parkel December 1, 2020

The show goes on

Norah Hogan December 1, 2020

Loyal members help keep independent cinemas afloat

Courtney Guarino December 1, 2020

Musicians deal with the reality of no live shows as covid takes center stage

Paola Michelle Ortiz December 1, 2020

 Black Friday’s Aftermath

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi November 30, 2020

The Spirit of Little Haiti

Savannah Daniels October 14, 2020

Small business owners hope for future relief

Courtney Guarino October 2, 2020

Brooklyn Book Festival held virtually

Chuyan Jiang September 28, 2020

NYC Restaurant owners worry about maintaining business during winter 

Isabel Beer September 27, 2020

The pandemic is causing mental health struggles for many Latinos

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 24, 2020

Politically divided family can agree on one thing, rallies are bad during a pandemic

Michelle Diaz September 23, 2020

New Yorkers are vulnerable to mental issues due to pandemic

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 23, 2020

Healthcare professionals struggle with Trump’s decisions during pandemic

Tori Luecking September 23, 2020

Some Americans Say “Not So Fast” on Operation Warp Speed

James Pothen September 23, 2020

Trump voters unfazed by morality of Trump’s Covid response

Norah Hogan September 22, 2020

Trump rallies continue, despite the rising Covid-19 death toll

Isabel Beer September 22, 2020

Latinos weigh in on President Trump’s management of the pandemic

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 21, 2020

Fast track vaccine causes fear

Kaity Assaf September 21, 2020

It’s business as usual at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Tori Luecking September 20, 2020

Trump defiance to hold indoor rallies amidst COVID-19 sparks polarized responses 

Courtney Guarino September 20, 2020

NYC Cafes and restaurants try and survive the pandemic

Isabel Beer September 19, 2020

A typical afternoon at Shade Bar NYC

Kaity Assaf September 19, 2020

West Village staple, Caffe Reggio, remains open for outdoor dining in the wake of coronavirus restrictions 

Norah Hogan September 19, 2020

Fort Greene’s Dino adds outdoor dining to keep business flowing

Courtney Guarino September 19, 2020

COVID-19 hampers Fashion Week for photographers

Daniel Karel September 18, 2020

On the heels of revelation that Trump downplayed the covid threat, voters question rallies resuming

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 16, 2020

Overburdened mothers in Pakistan are relieved as schools reopens

Quratulain Tejani September 13, 2020

Students from different parts of the world struggle as schools reopen during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang September 12, 2020

Special needs students face learning obstacles during Covid-19

Courtney Guarino September 12, 2020

Back to school – COVID-19 style 

Isabel Beer September 12, 2020

The new normal for school life is abnormal in Michigan

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 11, 2020

California School District Parents and Teachers Clash About Return to School

Norah Hogan September 10, 2020

A tribute to the mask pioneers

Bohao Liu July 11, 2020

Air pollution in China rebounds to pre-COVID level

Hannah Zhang July 11, 2020

ICE takes aim at international students

Maria Abreu July 10, 2020

Chinese students trapped by new ICE policy

Zishu Sherry Qin July 10, 2020

New ICE policy adds more turmoil to the lives of international students

Shiyu Xu July 10, 2020

Lawsuits follow ICE policy barring international students who are taking online classes

Joanna Lin Su July 10, 2020

Economists say the US needs a bold, generous fiscal response. Congress is likely to disappoint. 

Ahmed Mohamed July 9, 2020

Overseas Singaporeans have pandemic obstacles to voting

Yifan Yu July 9, 2020

Proximity sensors and hygiene stations are the “new normal”

Joanna Lin Su July 9, 2020

 Tour ticket vendors miss the hustle and bustle of Times Square

Narkwor Kwabla July 8, 2020