Former New York Gov. George Pataki told Newsmax TV’s “National Report” on Friday that President Donald Trump “made exactly the right decision” on leaving governors in charge of ending state lockdowns.
“I think that the president made exactly the right decision,” Pataki said. “First of all, it's not a one-size-fits-all, it's up to the governors to make the decision as to what is right for their state. What's right for New York and what's right for Idaho often, generally are not the same thing. So, to give discretion to the governors was exactly the right approach.”
He added that it’s important to note that this is “a phased approach,” where businesses aren’t closed one day and open the next, “it's a three-phased approach with guideline and gates, and I think that’s exactly the right way to reopen America’s economy.”
The former New York governor said that current Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to extend the state’s lockdown may or may not be the right move, saying, “that’s the question,” noting that “New York City and Long Island are going through a major crisis right now, it’s not the same in every part of the state. Just as President Trump gave governors the discretion, rightfully so, as to how they determine what to reopen, I think governors should take a look” at doing something similar with local officials.
“There are parts of New York, particularly upstate, where the economy could look to reopen, based on the data, based on science,” he said.
Pataki said that his new book, “Beyond the Great Divide: How A Nation Became A Neighborhood,” shows how the country united after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and said it’s “sad” that Democrats and Republicans in Congress are now unwilling to join together during a crisis. He noted that after 9/11, members of both parties “came together on the steps of the Capitol and sang ‘God Bless America,’” saying they’d be “more likely to have a brawl” if the two sides spontaneously got together. Pataki did add that the recent stimulus bill provides “some glimmers of hope” that the parties can work with each other during a crisis.
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