The seven states together have recorded over 325,000 confirmed virus cases, more than half of the U.S. total, and nearly 14,400 deaths, around 63 percent of the country’s total.
Mr. Cuomo’s morning appearances followed his announcement on Monday, along with the governors of New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Delaware, that the states would work together to plan for reopening the region’s economies and schools and lifting restrictions on public life.
“Let’s be smart and let’s be cooperative and let’s learn from one another,” Mr. Cuomo said.
Monday night, Mr. Trump asserted that any decision on reopening the economy could be made only by him, and that he would make one soon, “in conjunction with the governors and input from others.”
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had already established himself early in the coronavirus outbreak as a counterpoint to President Trump with his daily briefings,
But after announcing Monday that New York will join with six other eastern states to coordinate in reopening the region, Mr. Cuomo has seen that role strengthened.
On Tuesday morning, at the head of a marathon set of media appearances, he again rebutted Mr. Trump’s Monday claim that he had “total” authority to overrule governors on when to restart the economy.
“I don’t know what the president is talking about frankly,” Mr. Cuomo said on “The Today Show.” “We have a constitution. The constitution is based on balance of powers.”
In a second interview, on CNN, the governor was asked what he would do if directed by Mr. Trump to reopen New York.
“If he ordered me to reopen in a way that would endanger the public health of the people of my state, I wouldn’t do it,” he said. He urged the president not to act in a “dictatorial” way.
All are governed by Democrats except Massachusetts, which has a Republican governor.
Mr. Cuomo’s push for states to lead their own recovery efforts comes even as he asserts top-down control within New York State.
When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Saturday that the city’s public schools would stay closed for the rest of the academic year, Mr. Cuomo immediately said that the power to close or open schools across the state rested solely with him.
On Monday, Mr. de Blasio said that local governments, including his, should have a role in any plans to reopen the region, noting that they were responsible for providing crucial services.
“In the end, this is where the rubber hits the road,” he said.
NY county executives and local officials have noted the juxtaposition of @NYGovCuomo citing states rights vis a vis @realDonaldTrump, but also laying a heavy hand on local affairs as governor. (cc: @BilldeBlasio, re. NYC schools).https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/12/nyregion/schools-cuomo-de-blasio-nyc-coronavirus.html?searchResultPosition=5 … https://twitter.com/SteveMcNY/status/1250030867172528128 …Steve McLaughlin@SteveMcNYCan a group of NY counties join together and do whatever we feel like @NYGovCuomo as you’re pushing for states to do?55:04 AM – Apr 14, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacySee Jesse McKinley’s other Tweets