Governor Cuomo Says Trump will help with Test Kit Supplies – Will He?

After meeting with President Trump, Governor Cuomo says that the Federal Government will help NY’s Mass Testing by handling the Federal Supply Chain for National Manufacturers.
Will They?

April 21, 2020- Buffalo, NY- Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers his daily press briefing on COVID-19, Coronavirus in Buffalo (Darren McGee- Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo today met with President Trump to discuss the issues related to mass COVID-19 testing within the state. This evening he would announce a partnership between the state and the Federal Government for the sake of doubling testing capacity within New York.

Governor Cuomo, “The problem with testing and bringing testing up to scale has been the national manufacturers of the equipment who make the testing kits that they have to send to the state labs so the state labs can actually perform them. Those are done by national manufacturers. The national manufacturers have said they have a problem with the supply chain to quickly ramp up those tests. … That is where the federal government can help. … Let the federal government take responsibility for that federal supply chain for the national manufacturers. That’s what we agreed in this meeting.” 

In a nutshell, the president’s made no secret of his desires to reopen the nation in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Governor Cuomo has repeatedly mentioned the importance of carrying out massive testing, needed for the eventual reopening of the state.

Ramping up testing entails numerous steps, but at the core of the process are the necessary components. Swabs, vials and reagents (from our understanding) are what make a test kit. We may be off in as far as whatever other items might be needed, but even our own Mayor de Blasio gets a failing grade when it comes to the related technical lingo. Seems like the Governor may be the only leader in the entire country capable of explaining this all, but even then he manages to lose people for lack of interest.

Regardless, the problem lies in the lack of supplies. With nearly 20 million residents in the state, and 8.6 in NYC alone, that’s a lot of kits needed – and no, they’re not reusable. Also, the fact that every state in the nation needs their own supplies means bigger problems and hassles.

Atop all this are the labs. Someone needs to do the testing. The president would recently make references to the Governors not making use of Federal labs and other facilities, as if that were a single-handed solution, all whilst ignoring what’s being stated out loud ad nauseum. The labs themselves don’t have what’s needed to carry out these tests.

Case in point: Due to the known shortage, and out of frustration with the administration, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was able to get 500,000 test kits from South Korea for a price of $9 million. That country was able pull itself out of the Pandemic’s clutches through social distancing, mass testing, tracing and isolation. Very much, the same methodology which Governor Cuomo wishes to emulate.

Thing is, Maryland had tests on their hands but not enough of the needed labs. Thus, the Governor had to reach out to the Trump for access to Federal Labs. Meaning, you can have labs but you need the tests. You can have tests, but you need the labs. Labs might have that which is needed but not on the scale needed for mass testing.

Getting back to S. Korea, the country has been shipping test kits to dozens of countries over the past months.

The story of Maryland’s Governor has been something Governor Cuomo’s brought up more than once over the past day or two. He would mention it when touching up on the subject of international supply chains and how that should be an obstacle for the Federal Government to tackle.

Earlier today, he’d share a conversation he have with his daughters, “Last night I get home, I have my three daughters with me now, which is a joy 99.9 percent of the time. We’re sitting there, we’re watching the news. Governor Larry Hogan comes on the news. Great guy, Governor of Maryland — And Governor Hogan says ‘I bought 500 test kits from South Korea.’ And there’s a picture of Governor Hogan at the airport, South Korea airliner, and Governor Hogan says ‘I got 500 test kits from South Korea.’ And my daughter turns to me and looks at me and says ‘wow that was really smart.’ And she just looks at me—doesn’t say anything else, she didn’t have to. Felt that immediate wave of guilt descend upon me. One of my other daughters, who’s a little more pointed in life—a little more literal, said why didn’t you think of that, Dad?”

This evening, following his meeting with Trump he’d then elaborate on the need for the Federal Government to step in, “That is where the federal government can help. States cannot do international supply chains. I guess they could, but not in this time frame and it’s not what we do. You shouldn’t have 50 states competing to do international supply chains. One of my colleagues, Governor Hogan the Chairman of the National Governor’s Association who is the Governor of Maryland – Republican, good man – he was bringing tests in from South Korea. Very creative and proactive on his part, but that’s not what state’s normally do. Let the federal government take responsibility for that federal supply chain for the national manufacturers. That’s what we agreed in this meeting.”

So the question is, what’s next? Will President Trump actually follow through and assist with the process of getting those needed components? Some mass media news pundits didn’t think so. I’d fathom Trump’s track record has a lot to do with that.

Over the past weekend, the subject of discussion would revolve around the shortage of swabs and how Trump would solve that problem through the use of the Defense Production Act. When asked about the needed reagents he would brush it off by stating, almost unintelligibly, how easy they could be gotten. “We have — we’re in great shape.  It’s so easy to get.  Reagents and swabs are so easy to get.  When you have to build a very expensive piece of machinery controlled by computers, that’s a different thing.  And, no, we’ll have — everything is going to be in very good shape, very soon.  We’re going to be in very good shape, very soon.”

A day later, swabs would come up in discussion, “One company located in the northeast — we’re going to be using Title 3 of the DPA (Defense Production Act) to help them build four new production lines.  They are currently the largest swab producer in the country, and this will help them ramp up their production tremendously to over 20 million additional swabs a month.”

A second company located in Ohio is currently the largest Q-tip maker in the country.  We’re helping them convert their line from making Q-tips into making swabs.  They are actually ramping up production, starting this week, of swabs, and will be ramping up to over 10 million production — 10 million per month.  So, in total, that’s over 30 million new swabs that will be coming just over the next handful of weeks,” said Trump.

But still nothing on reagents.

Mr. Trump has, over and over again, stated how he would help the states; help Governor Cuomo and our Mayor de Blasio. Yet, our leaders continue to call out in their press conferences repeating that which they’ve already stated before. We need help from the Federal Government.