Following his meeting with President Donald Trump, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces his partnership with the federal government to double testing capacity in New York state. The governor praised the meeting, calling it very productive.
New York has currently been issuing on average about 20,000 tests per day. The governor’s goal for the state would be to double that number to 40,000 tests per day.
“We need several weeks to ramp up to that, but it is a very aggressive goal. That is our current system at maximum. Our current laboratory system, 7-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day,” said Cuomo. “If we could double our tests that would be a home run. That is a really, really big deal.”
The governor and president also discussed funding for the states. The latest legislation being passed in Washington this week allocates $484 billion for small businesses and hospitals, however it does not include funding for the states, which Cuomo said is a big mistake.
“Fund small businesses, fund airlines, but you don’t fund police, you don’t fund fire, you don’t fund health care workers, you don’t fund teachers, you don’t fund schools, you cut the aid to schools in this state,” Cuomo said Tuesday night after returning from Washington. “You know the state governments are broke, to use a very blunt term. You know the state governments are now responsible for the reopening and the governors are going to do the reopening, and they have no funds to do it.”
The president told Cuomo that he heard his concerns, and that going forward he would work to get funding for the states passed in the next piece of legislation.
Cuomo also brought up the state match for FEMA. Normally, the local government has to match FEMA funding by 25 percent. Since New York has had the highest number of COVID-19 cases, New York would have to disproportionately match the funding. The governor felt that “absolutely no sense” and that “we couldn’t pay it anyway.” Trump understood, and said he would waive the local match for New York.
“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.”