Gov. Cuomo defends coronavirus closures: 'We did it right, we did it smart'

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed back on the criticism that he overreacted to the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that other states did less and encountered more problems.

"Look at the facts, look around the country. Everything says we did it right, and we did it smart," he told NBC's Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday.

"Look, nobody wanted to close. No business person wanted to close, no employee wanted to stay home, but there was no alternative, Savannah. And those states that had this blind, 'OK, let’s do whatever we want to do and we’ll reopen immediately,' they have serious problems now," he added.

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"Not only will you have those states where more people die, but it wasn’t even better for the businesses, because now they reopened and now they have an infection rate issue and they’re talking about closing again. So anyone who thinks we could have reopened sooner, look at Florida, look at Arizona, look at Texas, look at the other 23 states that are going up. And it shows we were smart and right."

Cuomo's comments came as states around the country progressed to different stages of reopening amid the pandemic. States like Florida have come under fire for opening too early and seeing spikes in cases. President Trump has claimed that increased testing is behind the number of reported cases.

Cuomo previously said that he was concerned about allowing Floridians to visit his state. In response, DeSantis asked that Cuomo not quarantine Floridians in nursing homes — an apparent attack on New York's widely criticized decision to require nursing homes to accept patients who tested positive for the virus.

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Over 6,200 elderly residents may have died from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes, state health department statistics show.

Cuomo has defended his overall response, saying that if New Yorkers died, it wasn't "because we failed them."

"We got them a hospital bed, which we didn’t know that we could. We got them a nurse with PPE [personal protective equipment], with a mask, with a gown. We got them a doctor. We got them a ventilator. Everyone who died, we did everything we could," he said in an interview last week.

Fox News' Peter Aitken contributed to this report.