About two weeks ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump tussled over the commander-in-chief’s groundless wish to “reopen the country” on April 12, Easter Sunday, and start getting people back to work.

Presumably, Trump has never seen “Outbreak” or “Contagion” or even “The Masque of the Red Death.” Just walking out of your house and returning to the office isn’t that simple. The coronavirus may be nipping at your heels.

Cuomo told Trump this, not in so many words, of course, but the words can be boiled down to two: No way.

Just a few days ago, Trump said “the Lame-Stream Media” wants to “keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success.” I. Me. My. This is an example of leadership from the White House in this scary and uncertain time.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, taking a higher road Monday, called for political and national unity to fight the coronavirus after Trump said over the weekend he may order an enforceable quarantine for New York and surrounding areas in New Jersey and some parts of Connecticut.

Cuomo has resisted this strategy, saying, in a different context, that he is “not going to imprison anyone in the state of New York.”

Trump backed off his April 12 restart date and extended the social distancing edicts to April 30. Cuomo, meanwhile, is appealing to the federal government to deliver more ventilators to hospitals where they are in short supply. It is a request that Trump is unable or unwilling to fulfill.

Trump seems to want a political rift in a nation laid low by a terrible virus. Cuomo is calling for national and political unity to fight it. That is the only sensible thing to do.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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