NY Governor Cuomo questioned who should have "blown the whistle" on coronavirus months ago after Donald Trump slammed the World Health Organization (WHO) for failing to act.
Cuomo made the comments during his daily COVID-19 press briefing Friday, where he revealed that another 777 New Yorkers had died from the dreaded virus in 24 hours.
"Where were the horns that should have been triggered back in December and January?" the governor asked. "Where were the warning signs?
"Who was supposed to blow the whistle?" he added, before saying the president was right for repeatedly raising the question during his White House conferences.
Cuomo clarified he did not know whether WHO was ultimately to blame for not raising the alarm sooner but said "the answer is less important than the question."
"How did they happen? Did we really need to be in this situation?" he continued.
"The US winds up with a higher number of cases than the places that had it before."
Trump had blasted the WHO again Thursday, saying they "minimized the threat" of COVID-19.
His comments prompted Director-General Tedros to warn that politicizing the coronavirus will mean more "body bags".
Cuomo urged people to keep following the guidelines and to learn from the traumatic experience to prevent a second wave of infection as New York continues to flatten its curve.
"I don’t want a second wave, or a third wave," he declared. "I want this to be it."
Although there have been less hospitalizations and ICU patients have decreased over a three-day period in New York, Cuomo said this is no time to be complacent.
He highlighted that countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, and China dangled on the edge of recovery or reinfection after getting their numbers down.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," Cuomo said, quoting George Santayana's stark warning.
When pressed by reporters, the governor declined to say whether he thought the federal government was to blame for not doing more to address the crisis before it escalated.
"I don’t want to get into pointing fingers," he said, acknowledging that some people will blame the government, international agencies, scientists and even journalists. "The critics will do that after the fact."
Cuomo said aggressive testing was the only way to get people back to work, as he called on the Feds to utilize the Defense Production Act to do so.
He said private manufacturers wouldn't be able to meet the demand for a “tremendous, mind boggling" amount in such a limited timeframe, whereas the Trump administration could mandate companies to mass produce them.
The NY governor said he would team up with the government to do this so long as New Jersey and Connecticut were included in the "testing coalition" agreement.
Cuomo also urged officials on Capitol Hill to agree to a fair federal stimulus package instead of a "political pork barrel bill" during today's briefing, where he highlighted that the state had been battered by the virus.
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