New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) hit back at President Donald Trump‘s assertion that he has “total” authority to override governors and jump-start the U.S. economy. Cuomo compared Trump’s claim of power to the divine rights reserved for a king.

“We don’t have a king,” Cuomo said on NBC’s The Today Show. “We have a president. That was a big decision. We ran away from having a king and George Washington was president, not King Washington. So the president doesn’t have total authority.”

The Democratic governor added Tuesday in an interview with CNN that he would not cooperate with presidential orders that would endanger state residents by reopening his state before it is safe.

New York has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. — the state alone has 200,000 confirmed cases and over 10,000 deaths, as of Tuesday afternoon.


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Cuomo and governors from six other northeastern states are developing a region-wide plan to lift restrictions on businesses.


Trump told a White House news briefing on Monday that he had unlimited powers. “When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total,” the president said.

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