New York governor says to 'tell the truth' in meeting with Trump, focus on testing

By Nathan Layne and Maria Caspani (Reuters) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would 'tell the truth' in his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday and will ask for the federal government to take charge of procuring materials to ramp up testing for the novel coronavirus.

Reuters April 22, 2020 00:10:49 IST
New York governor says to 'tell the truth' in meeting with Trump, focus on testing

New York governor says to tell the truth in meeting with Trump focus on testing

By Nathan Layne and Maria Caspani

(Reuters) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would "tell the truth" in his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday and will ask for the federal government to take charge of procuring materials to ramp up testing for the novel coronavirus.

Cuomo also outlined a regional approach to reopening business and schools, suggesting that rural areas could restart life more quickly than harder-hit urban locations like New York City, the epicenter of the crisis in the United States.

The governor told a daily briefing that he planned to give Trump an unvarnished account of what his state needs when they meet in Washington at 4:00 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) with a focus on partnering with the federal government on testing.

"He has no problem telling me when he disagrees and he tells me he agrees," said Cuomo, who added that he is equally frank with the president. "The heck with it, just tell the truth and whatever it is, it is."

Cuomo said he planned to ask for the federal government to take control of securing chemical agents and other materials needed to process tests, an increasingly difficult task that has emerged as a major hurdle to ramping up output at state labs.

New York's 211 state labs are reliant on the manufacturers from which they purchased testing machines to supply them with those materials. The problem, Cuomo said, is that the manufactures themselves are struggling to procure them from China and other locations overseas.

In highlighting the problem, Cuomo showed a slide that included pictures of machines made by Roche Holding AG and Hologic Inc and said he wanted the federal government to take over international procurement.

Cuomo noted that Maryland Governor Larry Hogan had worked to secure 5,000 test kits, expected to give the state the capacity for 500,000 new tests, from South Korea in recent days.

"God bless Governor Hogan," he said, "but you shouldn't expect all these governors to go run around and do an international supply chain while they are trying to put together their testing protocol in their states, coordinating their labs."

(reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut and Maria Caspani and Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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