Cuomo heads to White House as he lobbies for COVID-19 help

Cuomo heads to White House as he lobbies for COVID-19 help

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will head to the White House on Tuesday as he seeks billions in federal aid and help with coronavirus testing

NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will head to the White House on Tuesday as he seeks billions in federal aid and help with coronavirus testing.

The Democratic governor and Republican president have alternately praised and criticized each other over their respective responses to the outbreak. The pair traded barbs as recently as Friday, when Trump said Cuomo should get to work after the governor argued that the federal government needed to lead in ramping up mass testing.

Cuomo will attend a White House meeting Tuesday afternoon. Neither side offered details on the meeting, but it comes as Cuomo lobbies for more federal help.

“Andrew is going to be coming in with some of his people, so we look forward to that,” Trump said at his briefing Monday.

Cuomo and other governors want $500 billion in unrestricted aid to offset outbreak-related revenue shortfalls. And Cuomo contends the federal government must help get crucial supplies needed for testing.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that if governors of states such as Georgia start to ease coronavirus restrictions they had better have the facts on their side or they could enable a resurgence of the virus beyond their states’ borders.

“If some of these reopenings are done the wrong way, it’s going to affect all of us,” de Blasio said on CNN’s “New Day.” He said that if any state or city “jumps the gun” on reopening businesses “that could lead to the disease reasserting in a lot of other places.”

The Democratic mayor announced Monday that all public events will be canceled in New York City through June.

The New York City ban, which affects major annual celebrations such as the gay pride parade, was announced the same day that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he would allow some businesses including gyms, hair salons and bowling alleys to reopen later this week. The Republican governor called the loosening of restrictions intended to curb the spread of the virus “the right approach at the right time.”

De Blasio was asked whether he worried that a coronavirus spike in a state such as Georgia where businesses have reopened could lead to more cases in New York City, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. He cautioned that “when you open up again you’d better have the facts on your side and you’d better do it slowly or carefully and make sure it’s not coming back.”

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