Governor Andrew Cuomo relished the use of the term “former President Trump” on Wednesday opening his first briefing after Joe Biden’s inauguration earlier in the day.
With $350 billion in funding for state and local governments across the country in President Biden’s forthcoming stimulus plan, Cuomo was optimistic of a more “competent” White House administration to aid New York in its battle to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The president sets the tone, you know, the President is not just another person on Twitter,” Cuomo said. “Normally people look to the president, people listen to the president, the president is a leader, is a tone-setter. And when he is strong enough to use words like “love,” like “healing,” that’s a special person because it’s hard to show your soul that way, it’s hard to be that, honest, and that authentic, and that’s who Joe Biden is.”
According to the governor, he did not attend the inauguration due to reports that Trump loyalists would be demonstrating at state capitol’s across the country and Cuomo had the state police on standby. Though said demonstration lacks the spark that the attack on the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 had, Cuomo said the state was acting out of an abundance of caution,
“Law enforcement had warned that there could be demonstrations at state capitals by supporters of former President Trump. Former President Trump. It’s the first time I’ve said that,” Cuomo said. “I don’t like to call out any public servant to handle a situation without my being willing to stand next to them in that situation. It’s my own personal prerogative and my own style… So I didn’t want to go to the inaugural, and have troopers and National Guard dealing with demonstrations in front of the Capitol. We know how violent these demonstrations can be we all watched what happened in Washington, so I didn’t want to take any chances. As it turns out, the demonstration in New York was, I think it’s fair to say less robust than anticipated.”
Cuomo reported that he had observed only one protester outside the capitol in Albany who soon left, claiming that he could have attended in hindsight.
This story originally appeared on amny.com.