New York Governor Andrew Cuomo blasted Donald Trump’s false claim that he has “total authority” to re-open the country’s economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis should he so wish.
Said MSNBC’s Chris Hayes to Cuomo: “The president has taken a strange approach in many ways, which is to say, lack of national guidelines for a while, allowing states to go. And then today he seemed to do a 180 and basically said, ‘No no no, it’s not really up to the states when to quote-unquote reopen,’ which is itself unclear—it’s not a ribbon-cutting, right?”
Hayes then played the clip of Monday’s press briefing at which Trump said he has “total authority” to reopen the country and not the governors.
Asked to respond, Cuomo said, “No, that is not true. … It is not legal. It is a total abrogation of the Constitution. 10th Amendment specifically says, powers to the states. Alexander Hamilton and all the founding fathers talked about the power of the states and how repugnant it would be for a federal head to say that they have eminent authority.”
“The constitution says we don’t have a king,” Cuomo snapped. “To say ‘I have total authority over the country because I’m the president, it’s absolute,’ that is a king. We didn’t have a king. We didn’t have King George Washington, we had President George Washington. And why he would want to say that after initially he did the quote-unquote close down of the government – he never did the close down! He wants to say the travel ban with China was a close down. It wasn’t. It was a travel ban.”
“The close-down was left to the governors to do individually state-by-state,” Cuomo continued. “We have a whole quilt of different close-down strategies because he left it to the governors. Now the re-open should be total authority? That makes no sense.”