Coronavirus: Trump accuses Cuomo of setting up ‘death panels’, quoting a right-wing conspiracy website
The president made this claim when speaking during a virtual Fox News town hall on Tuesday. During the town hall, Mr Trump held up a printed article from The Gateway Pundit, a far right-wing blog known to promote conspiracy theories.
"It says that he didn't buy the ventilators in 2015 for a pandemic, established death panels and lotteries instead," Mr Trump said, paraphrasing the article about the governor.
This comes after Mr Cuomo held his daily press conference on Tuesday and came out sharper against the federal response to the pandemic.
A concern for states like New York is the lack of medical equipment, specifically ventilators, available for the anticipated Covid-19 patients.
FEMA is sending 400 ventilators to New York to help that need, but the state requires an additional 30,000.
"You are missing the magnitude of the problem when the problem is defined by the magnitude," Mr Cuomo said, directing his frustrations at the federal government.
"Act like it's a war," he added: "You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die unless you send more ventilators."
The president signed the Defence Production Act last week that would allow him to order any US company to produce equipment needed to fight the pandemic. Despite pleas from governors like Mr Cuomo, the president has not used the act to ask companies to create ventilators.
"I'm not blaming him or anything else," Mr Trump said about the New York governor, "but he shouldn't be talking about us. He's supposed to be buying his own ventilators. We are going to help."
The "panel" the president references could be New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, according to the New York Times .
At the time, the panel studied New York state's available ventilators for a 2015 report to help give hospitals guidelines for when they should ventilate patients and when they should let them die during an emergency.
In the worst case scenario, the panel estimated New York would need an extra 15,783 ventilators. But the state has far surpassed that worst case scenario with an anticipated need of 30,000 ventilators when fighting the novel virus.
New York state is now looking into trialling placing two patients on one ventilator to handle the shortage, the governor said on Tuesday.
Mr Cuomo has not responded to the president's response to his ventilator pleas.