Governor Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump in Washington D.C. Tuesday afternoon where he told reporters he would negotiate for federal support for expanded COVID-19 testing through the national manufacturing supply chain.
Whether this will solve capacity problems deploying widespread testing across the state, Cuomo was not certain. However, the governor said he did see eye-to-eye with the president on unavoidable torrents of criticism that would follow an unprecedented program for identifying infected individuals on such a massive scale.
“This is all new, and look, it’s a situation that is very difficult and it is a situation that however you do it, it’s going to be a blame game afterward,” Cuomo said. “This is one of those thankless tasks, trust me. It is one of those tasks that when you get to the end of it, everybody is going to be able to say, you didn’t do enough… but it is a situation where you need everybody to work together and understand who is in a better position to do what.”
Cuomo claimed New York has a 200-lab capacity for testing and is doing this at a higher rate than other states, likening testing to crossing a swamp stone-to-stone and knowing when the state is on firm enough footing to take the next step, which would be reopening.
Cuomo, however, said it should not have been necessary for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to work directly with South Korea to buy 500 test kits while saying he was shamed for not doing the same.
“God bless Governor Hogan, but you shouldn’t expect all these governors to go around the international supply chain while they’re trying to put together a testing protocol in their state,” Cuomo said. “Just don’t give me guilt and make me look bad to my family and my state when Governor Hogan goes to South Korea and buys all the test kits.”
Deaths all across the state on April 20 were tallied at 481 and hospitalization rates have flattened out recently with 1,300 being hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, which has been the approximate number for the last few days.
In terms of delegating management of returning to normalcy, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be in charge of the reopening effort in western New York when the time comes, Cuomo said, while former Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy will be in charge of the same task in the Finger Lakes region.