Cuomo: Trump's COVID response 'the great American surrender'

Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a news conference.
Photo credit Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted after President Trump’s top aide said Sunday that “we're not going to control the pandemic,” with the governor calling the administration’s response to COVID “the great American surrender.”

On CNN's “State of the Union,” Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said, “We’re not going to control the pandemic, we are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”

Asked by host Jake Tapper why the pandemic couldn’t be controlled, Meadows said, “because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”

A couple hours later, during a conference call with reporters, Cuomo said Meadows’ comments were “very telling” and showed that the White House has “believed from the beginning that they can't control the virus.”

“That's the only rationale that explains the denial and the lying. If you believed you could control it, then you'd try to control it; if you don't believe you can control it, then you lie about it and deny it and you minimize it,” Cuomo said.

“They surrendered without firing a shot,” the governor continued. “It was the great American surrender. Americans don't surrender. And they didn't even put up a fight and what we learned in New York was if you put up a fight you would have won, because New York won. Other states won also.”

Cuomo said Meadows was “fundamentally wrong on the facts, because we are in the state of New York and New York proved definitively you can control the virus.”

“If New York didn't control the virus, then the curve would have continued to go up and we would have had hundreds of thousands of people in our hospital system and we would have been overwhelmed,” Cuomo said, adding that “flattening the curve is controlling the virus.”

“Controlling is a different word than eliminating. We controlled the virus, so he is wrong. But that's what they believe and that's why they never tried to control the virus, and that is why this country is in in the situation it is in, because they didn't believe they can control the virus,” Cuomo said.