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Cuomo: Feds must help NY with tests. Trump: Stop complaining

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump tussled over wide-scale coronavirus testing Friday, with the governor arguing the federal government needs to step up and the president saying Cuomo should stop complaining and start working.

The dust-up started during the Democratic governor’s daily briefing, when he said the federal government was doing too little to help states reopen their outbreak-stricken economies by making sure they can perform mass diagnostic testing.

“The federal government cannot wipe its hands of this and say, ‘Oh, the states are responsible for testing.’ We cannot do it. We cannot do it without federal help,” he said.

Within a half-hour, Trump was tweeting about it.

The Republican president said the federal government came through on ventilators and thousands of hospital beds for New York, yet Cuomo seemed ungrateful.

Cuomo and Trump have clashed intermittently over the federal response to the outbreak. But Friday’s flare-up was unusual for playing out during the course of one of Cuomo’s widely watched briefings. A reporter read Trump’s tweets to Cuomo, and the governor responded with his own barbs.

“How many times do you want me to say thank you?” Cuomo asked. “I’m saying thank you for doing your job.” (See his full comments below, thanks to WMHT/New York Now).


While he lobbies for federal help, Cuomo said, he will order the 300 labs and hospitals licensed to perform virus testing in New York to coordinate and prioritize diagnostic testing.

Other coronavirus developments in New York:


The number of total hospitalizations statewide is dropping slowly, with over 17,300 on Thursday. However, almost 2,000 people a day with COVID-19 are still entering the hospitals.

There were 630 deaths reported Thursday, bringing total number of confirmed deaths since the outbreak close to 13,000. The daily death toll has not dropped below 600 since April 5.


New rules requiring New Yorkers to cover their faces in public went into effect Friday as the state’s residents prepared for at least another month of social distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Under the guidelines announced this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, everyone must wear a mask or face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain appropriate distance from others. Children younger than 2 and people with a medical reason why they can’t tolerate a mask are exempt from the rule.

Cuomo announced Thursday that the state’s stay-at-home restrictions that have been in place since March 22 will last at least until May 15. He said the extension was made in consultation with officials from other Northeast states and will be reevaluated next month.