NEWS | New York’s Cuomo Says Trump Agrees Trump Agrees To Help Expand Coronavirus Testing

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, two prominent figures in the U.S. coronavirus crisis who are often at odds, emerged from a White House meeting on Tuesday with mostly positive things to say and an apparent deal on testing.

Cuomo, a Democrat whose state is the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus epidemic with nearly 20,000 deaths, said the Republican president agreed on a plan for doubling New York’s coronavirus screening capacity to 40,000 tests per day.

Under the plan, Cuomo said, the federal government will procure and furnish the test kits and related material, including the chemical reagents that have sometimes been in short supply.

The state will be responsible for expanding the capacity of some 300 laboratories conducting the test and hiring the necessary staff.

‘That is an intelligent division of labor – let each layer of government do what it does best’, Cuomo told a news briefing after his rare face-to-face encounter with Trump, a man with whom the governor has had a testy relationship at best in the media.

He said the testing would mix diagnostic screenings used to determine if someone is carrying the virus, and serology tests in which blood samples are analyzed for the presence of antibodies, an indication of exposure even after an individual is no longer infected.

Cuomo said it will ‘take several weeks at best’ to implement the plan.

‘It’s in some ways an outrageous goal, but this is New York, and we’re used to outrageous’, he said, adding the state’s current level of 20,000 tests a day marked the highest per-capita rate for diagnostic coronavirus screening in the world.

As of Tuesday, New York state had tallied more than 257,000 cases of COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus. That accounts for more than a quarter of the 809,000 – plus known infections nationwide.

Budget Shortfall

Health experts say a massive expansion in both kinds of tests is essential before stay-at-home orders and mandatory business shutdowns, which were ordered to slow the spread of the virus, can be safely lifted.

Cuomo, who said he also stressed the severity of the state’s budget problems brought on by the pandemic, described his conversation with Trump as ‘honest and open’.

As a separate White House briefing, Trump called his meeting with Cuomo productive and said he was proud of the relationship his administration has forged with New York.

With social distancing and lockdowns showing results, Cuomo has said 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.

Trump said the federal government will work with New York to help secure additional capacity for testing, the importance of which the president has at times minimized.

Cuomo also told Trump New York City no longer needed the U.S. Naval Ship Comfort hospital ship to help with overflow patients.

Along with other governors, Cuomo has called on the federal government to provide direct cash assistance to the states, a request that has gone unanswered in the stimulus packages passed by Congress.

New York, facing a $10 billion to $15 billion budget shortfall, needs a cash infusion to pay teachers, police officers, healthcare workers, Cuomo said.

The governor said Trump indicated he understood and promised to “work hard” to obtain funding for states in the next round of legislation.


NEWS | Bahrain Says Foiled ‘Terrorist Attack’ Backed By Iran In Early 2020

Bahrain’s interior ministry said on Sunday it had foiled a ‘terrorist attack’ early this year that was backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The statement confirmed earlier media reports about an alleged planned attack and added a timeframe. Earlier on Sunday Saudi state television Al-Ekhbariya and Bahraini newspaper Akhbar Al-Khaleej reported that interior ministry … Continue reading NEWS | Bahrain Says Foiled ‘Terrorist Attack’ Backed By Iran In Early 2020

BUSINESS | LVMH Submit Disputed Tiffany Takeover For EU Clearance

PARIS | FRANCE – LVMH said on Friday it had submitted its troubled takeover of Tiffany, which is now at the centre of  a legal dispute between the two groups, for EU approval as it seeks to counter accusations that it deliberately stalled antitrust proceedings. The French group’s $16 billion acquisition of the U.S. jeweler … Continue reading BUSINESS | LVMH Submit Disputed Tiffany Takeover For EU Clearance

TRAVEL | What You Need To Know About Travel Guidelines In Saudi Arabia

The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has released its updated traveler’s guide, which accommodates the ongoing pandemic after approving international travel for some exceptional cases. The new regulations entail that non – Saudis who are entering the Kingdom must provide a medical report of their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test and its negative results, … Continue reading TRAVEL | What You Need To Know About Travel Guidelines In Saudi Arabia

WORLD NEWS | Trump Awards Kuwaiti Emir ‘Prestigious’ Decoration, White House Says

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, to Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, the White House said in a statement on Friday, adding that it was the first time the honor had been given since 1991. The 91-year-old emir arrived in the United States in July … Continue reading WORLD NEWS | Trump Awards Kuwaiti Emir ‘Prestigious’ Decoration, White House Says

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi – Led Coalition Says Intercepts Drone, Houthis Say Abha Airport Hit

MILAN | ITALY – A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Thursday it had intercepted and destroyed an explosive drone launched towards the kingdom as Yemen’s Houthi group said it had it a target at Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport. In a statement published by Saudi state news agency SPA, a spokesman for the coalition … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi – Led Coalition Says Intercepts Drone, Houthis Say Abha Airport Hit

ENTERTAINMENT | Paris Hilton Says She ‘Feels Free’ After YouTube Documentary

There’s a scene in a new documentary about Paris Hilton, where the so-called socialite is speaking with former classmates from a Utah boarding school. They joke about how on her reality series ‘The Simple Life’, Hilton pretended to be clueless over many things – including how to perform any sort of manual labor. One bluntly … Continue reading ENTERTAINMENT | Paris Hilton Says She ‘Feels Free’ After YouTube Documentary

ROYALS | Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Ditch Royal Titles For Upcoming Television Event

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal titles were ditched for the first time in a promo video for their upcoming television appearance, The Duke and Duchess will be honored for TIME Magazine’s annual list of 100 of the world’s most influential people. ABC will air the special on Sept.22, the first time the magazine is … Continue reading ROYALS | Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Ditch Royal Titles For Upcoming Television Event

BUSINESS | Saudi Arabia’s July Crude Exports Tick Up From Historic Lows – JODI

MILAN | ITALY – Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports bounced back to 5.73 million barrels per day (bpd) in July from 4.98 million bpd in June, official data showed on Thursday. June’s exports were the weakest recorded in data stretching back to 2002. Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of the … Continue reading BUSINESS | Saudi Arabia’s July Crude Exports Tick Up From Historic Lows – JODI

TRAVEL | International Arrivals To Abu Dhabi Must Wear Covid-19 Tracking Device

ABU DHABI – International passengers arriving at Abu Dhabi airport will now have to wear a tracking device while they complete a mandatory 14-day home quarantine due to COVID-19, according to state-owned Eithad Airways. Daily infections in the United Arab Emirates rose this month to their highest since the outbreak started, which officials have largely … Continue reading TRAVEL | International Arrivals To Abu Dhabi Must Wear Covid-19 Tracking Device

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