The New York governor made his first late-night appearance this week to talk about the pandemic.
"The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" Premiere

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made his first late-night TV show appearance on The Daily Show Wednesday night at a time when he has set himself apart from other leadership in response to the coronavirus. Many, especially in his home state, lauded Cuomo for his fast-acting and forceful response to curbing the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, as he told host Trevor Noah this week, he still holds himself responsible for those who died under his watch.

Noah asked Cuomo, whose younger brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, had been diagnosed with and recovered from coronavirus, how he's feeling and dealing with the responsibility of looking after thousands of lives in New York.

"Really, this is all a voluntary program by New Yorkers, right? They changed their behavior and brought down the infection rate, but I gave them the information," he said. "Part of the information was personal because this is traumatic. This is PTSD for an entire generation that will talk about this. And it is personal, so I try to communicate how I feel personally, and my fear and my anxiety as part of this to say to you, 'You’re not alone. Everybody’s feeling this. I’m feeling it, too.'"

"The one differentiation," he continued, "is I have to deal with the number of deaths in the state. Fifteen thousand people, Trevor. 9/11 had 2,700 people. That was supposed to be the worst experience of my life, I believed. Twenty-seven hundred people. This is 15,000 people. Four-hundred seventy-four yesterday. That weighs heavily on me. I can sit here and say to you, 'I believe that we did everything that could possibly be done. I don’t believe that we lost anyone because we didn’t have a bed and we didn’t have doctors and nurses.' We did that, but we still lost 15,000 people and I still am the governor and I still hold myself responsible."

Cuomo said he still asks himself often what else he could have done to help. Admittedly, that's a "very heavy burden to bear." At the same time, he's also facing numerous obstacles, one of which had been President Trump.

The two sparred many times over social media (Trump repeatedly takes aim at Cuomo on Twitter) and in the courts (Cuomo has sued the federal government "a number of times"). On coronavirus, Cuomo projected in March that New York state would need upwards of 30,000 ventilators for those hospitalized with the respiratory illness. Trump went on Fox News after that and said, "I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they are going to be. I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators."

"The relationship between myself and the president is, the president doesn't like me. That is the relationship," Cuomo told Noah. "It is unambiguous, it is honest, it is open, and he doesn't like my politics, let's say. And we have been at political loggerheads many times in the past few years. If you look at his Twitter account, you'll see my name quite often. None of it good, Trevor. None of it good. And I've sued the federal government a number of times, so it's not necessarily loving."

Having said that, Cuomo mentioned he had "a very positive" and "productive" meeting at the White House about testing. "We basically allocated tasks," he said. "I give them credit," he added, "because it's hard to actually sit down with someone who you have differences with and say, 'Put that all aside and let's just do our jobs here, our respective jobs, because it's bigger than we are.'"

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