Cuomo: Meeting with Trump productive
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he had a productive meeting with President Trump Tuesday, resolving key issues of federal assistance on coronavirus testing and economic relief.
Cuomo on Wednesday said the one-day death toll for New York was 474, the third consecutive day the toll has been below 500. The statewide toll climbed past 15,000.
Following Tuesday's meeting with the president, Cuomo announced a federal partnership that he said will double the amount of testing in New York in the coming weeks.
"Our goal -- which is very aggressive and ambitious but set it high and then try -- our goal is to double the 20,000 to get to 40,000 tests per day. We need several weeks to ramp up to that, but it is a very aggressive goal," Cuomo said.
He says the president agreed that state governments should be responsible for managing testing in their own laboratories while federal officials can focus on supply chain issues. Cuomo has repeatedly said that states should not be forced to compete with each other to procure tests and protective gear and that it makes sense for the federal government to take charge.
Cuomo on Wednesday said he’s enlisted former Mayor Mike Bloomberg to help create a “tracing army” that will find infected people and get them into isolation.
Cuomo also said the president agreed to waive the 25% local match for FEMA disaster funding because economic damage caused by the virus has fallen disproportionately on New York.
"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. "I thank all the people on the President's team who made themselves available and work this through with us in detail and it's a really positive, positive resolution."
Cuomo Tuesday said a Navy hospital ship deployed to New York City to help fight the coronavirus outbreak is no longer needed. It's a sign that stresses on the hospital system are easing. Also, hospitals in parts of New York will be able to conduct outpatient elective surgeries again starting next week. The governor also pledged to consider regional differences when reopening the state’s outbreak-stalled economy.