NEW YORK - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio began his daily coronavirus briefing on Tuesday morning with an attack on President Trump. Holding up a copy of the New York Post, the mayor called Trump a "backstabber."
"The president of the United States, a former New Yorker who seems to enjoy stabbing his hometown in the back, talking about no bailout for New York," de Blasio said. "What kind of human being sees the suffering here and decides that people in New York City don't deserve help? What kind of person does that?"
The mayor was referring to the Post's interview with the president in which Trump said that "bailing out" the so-called blue states wouldn't be fair to the GOP.
"It's not fair to the Republicans because all the states that need help — they're run by Democrats in every case," Trump told the Post. "I don't think the Republicans want to be in a position where they bail out states that are, that have been mismanaged over a long period of time."
Later the same morning, the governor, who doesn't often see eye-to-eye with the mayor despite their common political party membership, also fired back the president over the interview.
"You have to get out of this Democrat or Republican, red or blue. It's not red or blue. It's red, white and blue. This coronavirus doesn't pick Democrats or Republicans. It doesn't kill Democrats or Republicans. It kills Americans," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his daily briefing. "The virus is less scrutinizing and more of an equalizer than the lens we're viewing the virus through. And if we can't get past this now when can we ever get past it?"
New York City has had more than 18,000 coronavirus deaths in the past two months and the city finances are in a shambles. City officials say they need federal aid to keep essential services running.
De Blasio, a frequent critic of the president, repeated a familiar comparison he has made between Trump and President Hoover.
Hoover was in the White House at the start of the Great Depression and was blamed for not doing enough to help struggling Americans at the start of the crisis.
The mayor said Trump has a basic responsibility to protect the people he serves.
Cuomo also called on the president to lead in a time of "national crisis."
"You have a national outbreak, a national epidemic killing thousands of people. You can't put your politics aside even now? Even today?" Cuomo said. "Do you want to be a leader? You want to go down in the history books as someone who stood up and did the right thing? Well then, remember what made us great in the first place, and that's what a great leader would do."