New York Gov. Cuomo says he had a ‘productive’ White House meeting with Trump

NEW YORK (CNN) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he had a “productive” meeting with President Donald Trump Tuesday at the White House where the two discussed coronavirus testing.

“The meeting went well and I think it was productive,” the Democrat said in a phone interview with MSNBC. “The big issue was testing as everybody knows that’s going to be the next step as we go forward. And how do we separate the responsibilities and the tasks on testing vis-a-vis a state and the federal government and the acknowledgment that we will need to work together on this.”

© Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/ Barcroft Studios / Future PublishingALBANY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – APRIL 20, 2020: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) speaks during a press Conference at the State Capitol.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/ Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

“It has to be a real partnership. And I think we had a very good conversation.”

The state should regulate labs and determine where tests are taken, Cuomo said, adding that tracing is also a state function. But the federal government’s role is to “make the supply chain work for manufacturers,” he said.

He said it is their goal to double testing in New York state from 20,000 to 40,000 per day.

Cuomo and Trump also spoke about the need for state government funding, and said the President seemed “very open and understanding of that” and said he would be open to that in the next round of legislation.

Asked how he approached the meeting, Cuomo said it was “just honest and open” and Trump was “communicative about his feelings.”

“The tone of the conversation was very functional and effective,” the governor said.

The President, Cuomo said, wanted to know what was working in New York and the challenges ahead and how the federal government could support the state’s efforts. The governor said he was happy to have the USNS Comfort but it is no longer needed, and can be deployed elsewhere.

“We don’t really need the Comfort anymore,” Cuomo said. “… So if they need to deploy that somewhere else, they should take it.”

Cuomo said that he was the one who wanted to have a face-to-face conversation.

He said he got a sense from Trump that he was “deferential to the needs” of New York and many states are in different positions — even regions within states. But he said Trump didn’t communicate any specific timeline for New York to reopen.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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