New York Governor Cuomo calls for federal help with coordinating testing

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that the state’s coronavirus infection rate has decreased, but that it could increase again if the state’s economy reopened too fast. 

“Everybody wants to reopen,” Cuomo said. “The tension on reopening is: How fast can you reopen and what can you reopen without raising that infection rate?”

Cuomo calls for federal help in coordinating testing

Cuomo said more testing was necessary, as it would help trace other cases and isolate the other people infected. However, tracing requires thousands of personnel.

“The trick with testing is not that we don’t know how to do it … it’s bringing this up to scale,” Cuomo said. 

Cuomo noted that tests purchased from different companies required different equipment, including chemical reagents. Cuomo said that labs producing tests in the state told him that it was difficult to obtain the chemicals needed for the reagents, as they are produced in China.

“No one has the chemicals because everybody has been overrun with demand. And the chemicals come out of where? China,” Cuomo said. He said states needed assistance from the federal government in coordinating the supply chain, including interactions with China. He added that states need “basic partnership” with the federal government.

He also called for Congress to pass federal funding to support state governments.

“On every level, this is a terrible experience,” Cuomo said. 

He reiterated that “there is no time for politics.” However, on Friday, Cuomo and President Trump sparred over the response to the crisis

“An overwhelming number every day”

The governor said Saturday that 2,000 patients were admitted to hospitals on Friday.

“Happy days are not here again,” Cuomo said. “That is still an overwhelming number every day.”

While the number of new hospitalizations have decreased, Cuomo said it was around the same level at the end of March.

“We’re not at a plateau anymore, but we’re not at a good position,” Cuomo said. 

He announced that 540 people died of the virus on Friday.

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