Cuomo: NY Will Double Testing After ‘Productive’ Talk With Trump
New York is going to double daily COVID-19 testing.
Late Tuesday, after traveling to the White House to speak with President Donald Trump, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York will double the state's testing capacity from 20,000 tests per day to 40,000 per day.
"It is an ambitious goal but it is critical that we ramp up testing," Cuomo said. "Testing is the best way to inform and educate yourself as you go through the reopening process so you can watch not just hospitalizations, but also testing so you can look at the infection rate across the state and see how the infection rate is increasing."
Cuomo notes it will take several weeks to put the plan into action.
Live Updates: Coronavirus in the Hudson Valley
Trump and Cuomo agreed the state will be responsible for managing the actual tests in New York laboratories, while the federal government will take on the responsibility of supply chain issues that are beyond states' control.
"We have about 300 laboratories in the State of New York. We regulate those laboratories. It's up to a state to determine how many tests, where those tests should be done, New York City versus Buffalo versus Long Island, et cetera, the staff to do those tests, how often you do the tests - those should all be state decisions and state responsibilities," Cuomo said. "States cannot do international supply chains. Let the federal government take responsibility for that federal supply chain for the national manufacturers. That's what we agreed in this meeting. That is an intelligent division of labor, in my opinion. Let each level of government do what it does best and it ends this back and forth, what do the states do, what does Washington do, who's responsible."
Cuomo said he also discussed much-needed federal funding with Trump. Cuomo said New York needs federal funding to fill the hole COVID-19 has put the state in. He noted, the White House team understood the need.
"I also told the President, from my parochial point of view, we had a conversation with Secretary Mnuchin and the President, that there is a match. What's called a local match for FEMA funding. When the FEMA does something, the local government should match that funding by twenty five percent. I said to the President there is no way New York can pay that match because we don't have the funding period and it is disproportionate to New York, because we've had such a much larger number of cases than any other state in the United States. That it falls disproportionately on New York, which disproportionately is dealing with this crisis in the first place. We get all the hardship and then we get a bill because we had the hardship. Makes absolutely no sense and as a practical matter we couldn't pay it anyway. The President said he understood and that he would work to waive the local match. Secretary Mnuchin said he understood. Secretary Mnuchin was very supportive and I thank him for his support and the President said that he understood and that he would take care of it and I believe that he will, because he did understand it and that's a big deal for the state of New York," Cuomo said during his Tuesday evening press briefing.