‘No king’: Cuomo hits back at Trump
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has pushed back against President Donald Trump's claim of "total" authority to reopen the nation's virus-stalled economy, noting that a president is not an absolute monarch.
"We don't have a king," Cuomo said on NBC's Today on Tuesday.
"We have a president. That was a big decision. We ran away from having a king, and George Washington was president, not King Washington. So the president doesn't have total authority."
The Democratic governor, whose state has become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, was reacting to Trump's assertion Monday that "when somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total."
"Nope," Cuomo said.
New York state recorded 778 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, up from 671 the day before, but new hospital admissions were down, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.
The rise in the single-day toll brought the total number of deaths in the state -- America's coronavirus epicenter -- to 10,834.
When asked on CNN's "New Day" what he would do if the Republican president ordered him to reopen New York's economy, Cuomo said
"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. And we would have a constitutional challenge between the state and the federal government and that would go into the courts and that would be the worst possible thing he could do at this moment."
Trump made his comments in reaction to moves by governors on both coasts Monday to form multistate compacts to co-ordinate reopening society amid the global pandemic.
AMBULANCE CRUSH EASING
New York City's once-overwhelmed 911 system is now seeing a more normal volume of medical calls, a sign the crisis could be ebbing and people are heeding messages to call only in a life-threatening emergency.
The fire department, which runs the city's EMS system, said it received 3,932 calls requesting ambulances Sunday, down from a record high of 6,527 on March 30.
The average volume last March and April was just over 4,000 calls. Sunday was the sixth straight day that the city's medical call volume was lower than the previous day. Numbers for Monday will be released later Tuesday.
The fire department said it's too early to know exactly why volume has dropped. At the peak, operators were answering four new calls a minute.
The fire department said the heavy volume of coronavirus patients had been pushing response times for the most serious calls to an average of more than 10 minutes, up from about 6 to 7 minutes under normal circumstances.
Meanwhile in LA, the number of COVID-19 cases among crewmembers of the Navy hospital ship Mercy has risen to seven.
They've been isolated off the ship, Cmdr. John Fage, a 3rd Fleet spokesman said.
The 1,000-bed hospital ship docked in the Port of Los Angeles is serving patients who have not been stricken by the coronavirus. The Mercy's ability to receive patients has not been affected, Fage said.
The ship has more than 800 medical personnel and support staff aboard to relieve strain on local hospitals by providing care to patients who do not have COVID-19, allowing those hospitals to use intensive care units and ventilators for virus cases.
On Monday, Los Angeles County public health authorities reported 9,420 positive cases and 320 deaths.
Originally published as 'No king': Cuomo hits back at Trump