The coronavirus crisis has created some common ground for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump.
Yes, Trump and Cuomo had a public spat earlier this month over how to handle the crisis. But that quickly extinguished.
And the president and governor remain at odds over whether to invoke the Defense Production Act, which would utilize the private sector’s mite to produce medical supplies.
But on key issues — including some of which Trump has been criticized for embracing — Cuomo has been aligned with him.
Cuomo and Trump are both optimistic about the use of a pair of anti-malaria drugs, which have shown anecdotal success overseas, but is yet to be tested in the United States.
That’s changing this week, after the Food and Drug Administration approved a trial to be conducted in New York on patients who are in critical condition.
On Monday, Cuomo made a point of thanking Trump for that approval, plus picking up the full load of FEMA costs, rather than having the state pay a 25 percent share.
“This,” Cuomo said, “is how government should work.”
Trump over the weekend began thinking out loud on Twitter over how long what has been, in essence, a shutdown of the nation’s economy will last. Trump wondered if the cure to the spread of the virus was worse than the disease itself.
New York’s “pause” is in its first full day of being effect, keeping millions of non-essential workers at home and closing businesses along the way.
Cuomo’s acknowledgement of the predicament did not come with the same blunt force of Trump’s assessment.
But he also noted there needs to be a “parallel track” of thinking about how to re-start the economy and whether people who are not vulnerable to the worst aspects of Covid-19 should return to work.
His comments were left open-ended, but it started a conversation that could grow louder as more people are thrown out of work.
Certainly having a Democratic governor and a Republican president working together during a destabilizing national emergency is what voters would want and likely expect.
Setting aside partisanship and past criticisms, with lives at stake, they are working together.
But there may be something deeper at work as well with this alignment.
Cuomo’s press briefings have been aired nationally, and it’s likely Trump has been watching them.
Cuomo on Friday appeared on Fox News personality Sean Hannity’s radio show; Hannity has been seen as an informal advisor to the president.
Cuomo has also been frank: He needs the federal government’s help right now. The state is spending it doesn’t have and will, like virtually everyone and everything else, need some form of a bailout from the federal government.
Thanking the mercurial president early and often who is prone to public flattery can’t hurt.