New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo slammed the federal coronavirus response Sunday, again accusing Congress of failing to address looming budget shortfalls resulting from the pandemic and misallocating aid in a way that shortchanges his state, hit hardest by the pandemic.
Cuomo, a Democrat, and Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, the chair of the National Governors Association, on Saturday called on Congress to approve an additional $500 billion in direct aid to help states stabilize their budgets and avoid damaging cuts.
“In the absence of unrestricted fiscal support of at least $500 billion from the federal government, states will have to confront the prospect of significant reductions to critically important services all across this country, hampering public health, the economic recovery, and — in turn — our collective effort to get people back to work,” they said in a joint statement.
At a press briefing on Sunday, Cuomo blasted the federal government’s approach to distributing the initial $30 billion in emergency grants provided under the Creates Act coronavirus relief legislation, saying the funding “became a game of political pork.”
The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed last week it would send money to doctors and hospitals based on their historical share of revenue from Medicare, not the number of coronavirus cases they have.
"You did an injustice to the places that actually had the need," Cuomo said. "Which, from an American taxpayer point of view, that's what you were trying to correct. You were trying to correct the devastation of the virus. Well then correct the devastation of the virus. Not everything has to be an opportunity for pork barrel."
Cuomo cited an analysis by Kaiser Health News that found that states such as Minnesota, Nebraska and Montana are getting more than $300,000 per reported Covid-19 case while New York would only get $12,000 per case.