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President Trump and Governor Cuomo Set Example for U.S. Leaders, That Nation Comes before Party

March 17, 2020 (EIRNS)—In the midday briefing by the White House Coronavirus Task Force today, President Donald Trump reported he had had a “very productive talk” with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo again this morning. We are coordinating, he emphasized, and on the same track. New York State is the #1 hotspot of COVID-19 in the nation, “no fault of anybody, that’s the way it happens,” the President said, so we are working closely together, getting FEMA more involved and dealing with the Army Corps of Engineers, should that be necessary.

In his own briefing Tuesday morning, Cuomo also spoke forcefully, and movingly, of his partnership with President Trump and his team in the fight to save the nation from this disease:

“This is an extraordinary time in this nation’s history. It will go down in the history books as one of those moments of true crisis and confusion and chaos. I lived through 9/11. I remember the fear and the panic that existed in 9/11 where a single moment, your whole concept of life and society can be shaken, where you need to see government perform at its best, you need to see people at their best. Everybody’s afraid. Everybody’s nervous. How you respond, how you act, this is character test for all of us individually.

“It’s a character test for us collectively as a society. What did you do at that moment when all around you have lost their head, right? ... What does government do in this moment? It steps up, it performs. It does what it’s supposed to do. It does it better than it’s ever done it before.

“What does government not do? It does not engage in politics or partisanship. Even if you are in the midst of an election season, even if you are at a moment in time in history where you have hyper-partisanship, which we now have. The President of the United States, Donald Trump—it is essential that the federal government works with this state, and that this state works with the federal government. We cannot do this on our own ... this [state] government cannot meet this crisis without the resources and capacity of the federal government.

“I spoke to the President this morning again. He is ready, willing, and able to help. I’ve been speaking with members of his staff late last night, early this morning. We need their help, especially on the hospital capacity issue. We need FEMA. FEMA has tremendous resources. When I was at HUD, I worked with FEMA. I know what they can do. I know what the Army Corps of Engineers can do. They have a capacity that we simply do not have. I said to the President, who is a New Yorker, who I’ve known for many, many years, I put my hand out in partnership. I want to work together 100%. I need your help.

“And New Yorkers will do everything they can to be good partners with the federal government. I think the President was 100% sincere in saying that he wanted to work together in partnership, in a spirit of cooperation. I can tell you the actions he has taken, evidence that his team has been on it. I know a team when they’re on it, and I know a team when they’re not on it. His team is on it. They’ve been responsive late at night, early in the morning, and they’ve thus far been doing everything that they can do, and I want to say thank you and I want to say that I appreciate it and they will have nothing but cooperation and partnership from the state of New York.

“And we’re not Democrats and we’re not Republicans, we are Americans, at the end of the day. That’s who we are and that’s who we are when we are at our best. So this hyper sensitivity about politics and reading every comment and wanting to pit one against the other. There’s no time for this. The President is doing the right thing in offering to step up with New York, and I appreciate it, and New York will do the right thing in return.”

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