Cuomo Calls on Trump to Take Federal Action to Fight Coronavirus
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking President Donald Trump to immediately take comprehensive federal action to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
In an open letter to President Trump, the Cuomo urged Trump to take comprehensive federal action to combat or COVID-19, including developing an aggressive national strategy for testing, school closures and hospital surge capacity.
"We need unprecedented federal action to respond to #COVID19," Cuomo said on Twitter. "I said to the President, this is no time for politics. I don’t care if you're a Democrat or Republican. This is about saving lives. I'll work in full partnership with @POTUS on this—but I ask him to take it seriously."
Cuomo is asking Trump to deploy the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities, such as military bases or college dormitories, to serve as temporary medical centers.
“The coming crisis is overwhelming our health care system. That is going to happen,” Cuomo said Monday morning on CNN. “The federal government has to step up... We have an impending catastrophe when this wave of growth crashes on the hospital system and we don’t have the capacity
Cuomo also called on the President, through the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to authorize states to certify a wider array of testing labs and methods in an effort to maximize testing capacity to identify and isolate positive cases faster.
"Our goal is to slow the spread of the virus to a rate that the healthcare system can manage, and we're doing that through aggressive testing and strong social distancing protocols. But the anticipated wave of new cases threatens to crash our healthcare system, and we need national action from the federal government to address the quickly-evolving situation now," Cuomo said a press release. "In short, the Trump administration needs to localize testing, federalize shutdowns and task the Army Corps of Engineers to expand hospital capacity. While again I want to remind people that the facts do not warrant the level of anxiety that is out there, we will continue working closely with every level of government to mitigate the impact of this virus and protect the public health."
Cuomo also wants a uniform federal standard for when cities and states should shut down commerce and schools, or cancel events. On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged private businesses to close. Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus believes this means a mandatory order will be announced later this week.