New York Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a blistering attack on US President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus crisis, accusing him of "passing the buck" to the states and favouring big business over communities hardest hit.

Mr Cuomo, who had previously kept his criticism of Mr Trump in check, unleashed a flurry of broadsides following a reporter's question about the president's comments suggesting New York had asked for too much aid that was never fully used.

The governor said the president should "maybe get up and go to work" instead of watching TV.

He accused him of favouring the airline industry and other business cronies in a recent bailout package that Mr Cuomo said left little for the states.

US coronavirus deaths rose above 35,000 today, according to a Reuters tally.

Total US deaths were at 35,002, up by nearly 1,700 with many states yet to report.

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the US passed 684,000, having risen by about 33,000 yesterday.

The number of new cases reported has increased for three days in a row and is the highest since a record high increase of 35,715 new cases was reported on 10 April.

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Mr Cuomo said that he had been quick to praise the president when the state was in dire need of hospital beds and ventilators and that his requests for help with those were motivated by the White House's own dire projections for the virus.

"We built more beds than we needed," Mr Cuomo said, pointing to initial federal projections on the impact of the virus which predicted that as many as 2.2 million people could die.

"Our only mistake was believing your numbers and your projections."

Mr Cuomo, whose state is at the epicentre of the US outbreak, accounting for nearly half of the country's deaths, said the president had repeatedly refused to help states with ramping up testing because it was "too complicated".

He said he needs federal funding to significantly ramp up testing capacity and to fill a $10-$15 billion budget shortfall that is hampering the state's ability to fund such efforts on its own.

Mr Cuomo criticised the aid packages passed by Congress to date for a lack of funds to hard-hit states such as New York.

"Is there any funding so I can do these things that you want us to do? 'No,'" Mr Cuomo told a daily briefing on the coronavirus. "That is passing the buck without passing the bucks."

He spoke one day after the Trump administration outlined plans for a phased reopening, starting with the states least affected by the virus.

"The federal government has passed three bills to address this crisis. Of those three bills the state governments have gotten precisely zero, zilch, nada in unrestricted aid," Mr Cuomo said.

"Okay, it's up to the states, but then don't ask the states, don't give them this massive undertaking that has never been done before and then not give them any resources to do it."

On Thursday, Mr Cuomo extended the closure of businesses and schools in his state until at least 15 May, but he has started to plan on a phased reopening that would hinge on keeping hospitalisations and other key metrics on a downward trend.

Mr Cuomo said today that a total of 17,316 people were hospitalised across New York because of Covid-19, down from 17,735 a day earlier and the lowest since 5 April. Intubations and admissions to intensive care units also fell, he said.

Mr Cuomo said that about 2,000 infected people were newly admitted to hospitals on Thursday, hovering at a high level, while the state recorded an additional 630 deaths, up from 606 deaths the previous day.


Read:
The battle of the New Yorkers: Trump v Cuomo