Gov. Andrew Cuomo hailed his visit with President Donald Trump and the coronavirus task force as "functional and effective" Tuesday afternoon, saying the White House has vowed to help New York state double its testing capacity.
New York is testing about 20,000 people a day for COVID-19, but Trump has offered assistance to Cuomo to double testing to 40,000 per day.
"It's a very aggressive goal and we said that we would work together to meet that goal, so it was a very good conversation," Cuomo, a frequent Democratic antagonist of the president, told MSNBC after the White House meeting.
Cuomo also sought federal assistance for funding to states who are running short on funds, like New York.
"We have a tremendous job that we have to get done and put everything else aside and do the job, and the tone of the conversation was very functional and effective," Cuomo told MSNBC.
"I stayed focused on what we were there to talk about and, for me, the substantive agenda was testing – 'Who does what? How do we get it up the scale?' – and somebody has to stand up for funding for the states."
Cuomo described the meeting as "honest and open."
"The president is communicative about his feelings, and I'm communicative about what I think," he told MSNBC.
With social distancing and lockdowns showing some positive results, Cuomo said on Monday he could begin to consider how to reopen a state that ranges from New York City, with more than 8 million people, to farm country and sparsely populated towns.
Cuomo said he sought a face-to-face conversation with the Republican president to hash out issues around the need for more testing capability.
"We have to get this ironed out," Cuomo said. "This is a very big issue. It's important for states that have a more difficult time reopening like New York. It is how you educate yourself as you're making your reopening decisions.
He said testing volume needed to increase tenfold and leaders needed to discuss how the federal government can help and what the states can do to make enough tests available.
"That is the issue for the country right now I think," Cuomo said. "It's a benchmark – 'Where are we? Are we on the increase, are we on the plateau or are we on the descent?'"
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.