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Stories and information in our region on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cuomo Has ‘Productive’ Meeting With Trump On Need To Ramp Up Testing For COVID-19

Patrick Semansky
Vice President Mike Pence, right, and President Donald Trump watch a video of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaking during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Sunday in Washington.

Governor Andrew Cuomo met with President Donald Trump, at the governor’s request, for about an hour at the White House Tuesday afternoon, where the governor asked for federal help to boost testing for the coronavirus.

Cuomo, who asked for the meeting, says it was “functional” and “productive” and focused on the need for the federal government to get involved in ramping up testing for those who might be sick with the virus, and to test for the presence of antibodies in people who have had the virus and are recovered.

Cuomo says in order for New York to reopen from the weeks-long shutdown, there has to be more extensive testing to avoid a steep resurgence of the virus. The governor says without the federal government intervening, states will be in a “quagmire” as they try to navigate unfamiliar national and international supply chains for the materials used to create the tests.

After the meeting, speaking on MSNBC, Cuomo said Trump agreed to help New York double its testing capacity from 20,000 tests a day to 40,000 tests.

“It's a very aggressive goal and we said that we would work together to meet that goal so it was a very good conversation,” Cuomo told MSNBC host Nicole Wallace.

Cuomo says Trump expressed concern over the nearly complete shutdown of New York City, where the president lived most of his life, but did not urge the governor to speed up the timetable to reopen businesses and schools.

The governor and president have alternately praised and berated each other in recent weeks. Cuomo says they had an honest and open conversation, but he says ultimately, it’s not about anyone’s emotions, but on working on what he says is the “tremendous job” that has to get done, of coping with the pandemic.

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Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.
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