NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday released a statement regarding President Donald Trump's effort to cut federal funding to New York City.
"Today it was revealed that - in the same week President Trump announced an illegal effort to cut federal funding to New York City - the White House is trying to undermine efforts to fight COVID-19 in our subways, buses, and schools," Cuomo said in a statement.
According to Cuomo, Trump's changes to the FEMA policy would slash funding that would provide PPE equipment to the MTA and schools.
"By quietly changing FEMA policy to no longer fund personal protective equipment or disinfection efforts for the MTA and schools, the President is telling essential workers that he does not value their safety or their sacrifices over the last six months," he said.
FEMA changed the rules on what's considered "Public Assistance Eligibility," and would mean that in many instances, the state will need to pay the cost of personal protective equipment, temperature scanners and disinfectants after the agency said they would no longer pay.
"Reimbursement for the purchase and distribution of disinfecting supplies for schools is only eligible when being used in the performance of an eligible emergency protective measure," a FEMA spokesperson said. "Normal operation of schools and other public facilities are not emergency protective measures, so FEMA would not provide funding for these activities in these circumstances."
A FEMA official said the Department of Health and Human Services would provide to 125 million cloth masks to states for distribution to schools.
The changes would go into effect Sept. 15, just as students prepare for a return to schools and more people begin to use public transportation to head back to work.
MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said that Washington's message to MTA customers and employees was "drop dead."
"With this action, the federal government seems intent on starving the economic lifeblood of not just New York, but the nation at a time when the MTA is simply trying to keep people safe during the worst pandemic in a century," Foye said.
Cuomo added that this move is another attempt by Trump to hurt New York.
"Make no mistake, this is just another attempt by President Trump to hurt New York. We won't be bullied. The subways, buses, and schools have never been cleaner - and despite the federal government's negligence, the state will continue to work with the MTA and school districts to ensure transit workers, riders, teachers, students, and all New Yorkers remain safe," Cuomo added.
Earlier, New York Attorney General Letitia James wrote on Twitter: "President Trump’s threats to deny funds to New York are nothing more than a desperate, last-ditch election strategy by a president too weak to lead us through the crises our nation is facing. President Trump, prepare for legal action if you threaten New York again."
On Wednesday, Cuomo slammed Trump saying that "New Yorkers don't want anything to do with him," over threats to defund NYC.