New York Gov. Cuomo predicts scientists will speak 'unmuzzled' now that 'Trump is out of office'

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said health and government officials will be able to speak freely "now that Mr. Trump is out of office." 
  • "I think you'll see scientists speak with unmuzzled voice" after Joe Biden's victory was called over President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, Cuomo said.
  • Trump's administration has established a pattern of publicly breaking with and attempting to discredit its own health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday predicted that health and government officials will "take a different tone" regarding how they handle the coronavirus "now that [President Donald] Trump is out of office." 

"I think the political pressure of denying COVID is gone," Cuomo said on ABC's "This Week," referencing Joe Biden's presidential victory. "I think you'll see scientists speak with unmuzzled voice now."

Biden, Trump's Democratic opponent in the race, surpassed 270 electoral votes by flipping swing state Pennsylvania Friday morning, paving the way forward for a Biden-Harris administration. Business Insider, along with Vox and Decision Desk HQ, called the victory for Biden on Friday. Over the weekend, multiple news outlets also declared Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

The Trump administration has established a pattern of openly breaking with, and in some cases appearing to silence, its own health officials. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease specialist and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, has issued stark warnings about the pandemic since its beginning. Trump, in response, has called him a "disaster" and said he plans to fire him. 

Cuomo and other governors have publicly clashed with the Trump administration on how to approach rising coronavirus cases in individual states. 

Cuomo was one of the first governors in the country to issue shutdown warnings when cases began to rise in New York in March. The state qualified as a coronavirus hotspot for months until the number of positive cases began to plateau and later decline. 

The US hit a new high in coronavirus cases in late October, reporting its highest-ever daily tally, nearly 84,000 cases, Business Insider previously reported. Public-health experts have for months warned about a fall resurgence in new cases, but lawmakers have been slow to announce new lockdown measures. 

"We're coming up to the worst two months I think that we may have seen vis-a-vis COVID," Cuomo said. "You see the numbers going crazy all across this country, all across the globe. The scientists said this was going to happen."

"We're going to have a long two months," he added.

Biden's administration would alleviate some of that pressure, Cuomo said. Biden on Monday plans to announce the formation of a coronavirus task force to combat the disease. 

"Unfortunately, the Biden administration doesn't take office until January 20th," Cuomo said.

The coronavirus has infected more than 9.8 million people in the United States, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. Of that, more than 230,000 people have died from it. 

The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on Cuomo's remarks.

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