NY coronavirus: Gov. Cuomo talks about his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic on 'GMA'; describes crisis as 'hell'

NEW YORK -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sat down with Amy Robach on "Good Morning America" to talk about the pandemic, race relations and his future political aspirations.

So far, there have been 383,575 cases of the coronavirus in New York and more than 30,000 deaths.

Robach asked Cuomo if he was concerned about seeing spikes of the virus in other states.

"I'm concerned because it's human nature; we test every day, we get numbers every day but we can't lose the focus. How they behave today is what we will see tomorrow," he said.


She asked him to describe the past 100 days in one word. Cuomo said, "Hell. Can I say that?" He added, "We were the worst per capita across the globe; we were worse than some countries."

Cuomo credited New Yorkers for the current low infection rate. "I gave them the facts literally every day and they acted responsibly."

The state went from the worst COVID-19 infection rate in the country to the lowest. He still has concerns about a second wave.

"We still don't know where we are going with this," Cuomo said. "I talk to global experts everyday and nobody really knows if there's a second wave or if there's not a second wave."

Robach asked if he was concerned about another spike in New York state.

"New York is not an island. We can be doing great job getting the spread down and the rate of transition down, but people travel here from other states," Cuomo said.

WATCH: Gov. Cuomo GMA interview, part 2: Schools and mass transit
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Schools and mass transit: Part 2 of Amy Robach's exclusive interview with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Good Morning America.

Cuomo said he still doesn't know the answer to if schools will reopen in New York and when.

"And I don't think that anybody knows," he said. "And anybody who tells you what's going to happen in September? I wouldn't believe them."

With more New Yorkers heading back to work, he was asked about the safety of the subway, and the governor pointed out that every subway car and every station is cleaned daily.

Cuomo currently has an 84% statewide approval rating among Democrats. That approval rating is second only to President Barack Obama as the most-trusted Democrat in America.

Robach asked Cuomo what he hoped that approval rating would get him.

"Hopefully it gets us through the pandemic, in that people trust the information I'm giving them," he said.

She asked him about the critics who say he should have shut down New York state a week earlier, with the possibility of saving 80% more lives.

"We didn't have the information then," Cuomo said. "I think New Yorkers who died, they didn't die because we failed them, we got them a hospital bed, which we didn't know that we could, nurses with PPE, with a mask, with a gown, doctors, ventilators; everyone who died we did everything we could."

As far as his relationship with President Donald Trump, it has been contentious at times with Cuomo famously saying, "How many times do you want me to say thank you?" at one of his many press conferences.

"We have to work together; there are things that the federal government has, assets that they have that the states do not have," Cuomo said. He added that he didn't think New York should have had to buy their own masks and negotiate with China.

Robach asked him to give the president a grade in his handling of the pandemic. "I don't grade him; he can grade himself, or a higher being, or the people of the nation can grade him on Election Day."

As far as his own grade, "I would ask the people to grade me, when it's all over, I would ask the people to grade me," Cuomo said.

The governor also commented to Robach about signing police reform laws, banning chokeholds and requiring police departments throughout the state to come up with a plan that "reinvents their police department," in the wake of George Floyd's death. He said that when it comes to the police, "Divorce is not an option; you need public safety so you need to go to the table and work out a new relationship."

Cuomo quickly shot down any questions regarding future political aspirations. He said, "I support Joe Biden for president; I am not running for anything. I am governor of New York."

He also ruled out a cabinet position should Biden win the election. "I only represent the people of the state; I have no agenda besides theirs," Cuomo said.
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