Gov. Cuomo Explains NY Coronavirus Testing in Testy Exchange with CNN Host Brother

Gov. Cuomo Explains NY Coronavirus Testing in Testy Exchange with CNN Host Brother


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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New York Gov Andrew Cuomo (D) appeared side-by-side Wednesday evening with his brother Chris, the CNN host, for another of the encounters between the two which have become commonplace in the coronavirus pandemic era.

But the brotherly banter which has become the hallmark of these appearances were replaced by the more traditional journalist-politician jousting which for which cable news is well known.

In this case, the Brothers Cuomo wrestled over the status of virus testing in the Empire State.

The encounter began with the governor saying that the state, which had been the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States for weeks, had to begin reopening, safely.

“And you have to open, because you can’t survive this economically for a prolonged period of time. But that doesn’t mean you deviate from the facts. What we’re doing in New York is we have the most fact-driven, data-driven reopening plan in the country, period,” Gov Cuomo said. “Seven criteria, all based on the facts. No region opens unless they meet the factual thresholds. That’s what’s going to govern us. It’s what’s governed us from day one and will throughout this pandemic.”

Host Chris Cuomo challenged his brother’s plans, based on a lack of available coronavirus testing.

“How do they meet the factual threshold when you are strapped for cash and unable to test in still any real comprehensive way anywhere in your state?” Chris Cuomo asked.

“Yeah, what you said is just not a fact. If it were a fact, you would be right,” the governor challenged.

“Where is it wrong?” Chris Cuomo asked.

“I’m going to explain, if you let me finish,” the governor interjected. “We have 10 regions in this state, right? And it’s very different, of course, this state. We have the worst cases in New York City, the worst in the United States, worse than some countries.

“We have regions upstate that are more like rural America where the numbers are dramatically different. So we do it region by region. And every region must hit numerical thresholds. The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC put out preliminary guidance, they’re supposed to be doing follow-up detailed guidance, we’re still waiting for that. But the preliminary guidance of the CDC, and that’s what Dr. Fauci goes back to, decline in cases for 14 days, surge capacity in hospitals, surge capacity in ICU units, enough PPE equipment, tracing and testing, that operation has to be in place,” Gov Cuomo added, referring to Dr Anthony Fauci, one of Donald Trump’s most prominent advisers on the coronavirus pandemic.

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