Robert De Niro has heaped praise on Andrew Cuomo's response to the coronavirus pandemic, while also taking the chance to attack Trump, too.
Hat-tip to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who this weekend admitted what he?d been avoiding in his public remarks during the pandemic lockdown thus far: We?ve failed dismally on testing patients to confirm a diagnosis of COVID-19. ?I own that,? he said during his daily press briefing, addressing the testing issue. ?I have a responsibility as your governor to do better.?With the entire of state of 40 million people entering a fourth week in lockdown, yes, he does. And it starts with that admission.Why does it matter?�Despite the benefit of early stay-at-home orders in the most populous state in the union, we have no prayer of leaving our homes and going back to work, sending our kids back to school and getting the economy restarted until we have widespread testing. We simply must know where infection is highest, where immunity might be emerging, where clusters of infection are rife and also where infection is low or on the decline.We still don?t know what we don?t know because we don?t have testing.Also Read: Can Social Media and Technology Come to the Rescue in a Pandemic?Ask yourself: Have you heard anyone tell you when to expect the coronavirus peak in California? Unlike New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo has projected mid-April? No you haven?t, because we just don?t know.On Saturday, Newsom said 126,700 people had been tested in California, a state of nearly 40 million people. Of those who have been tested, 13,000 were still awaiting results. (For comparison: As of Saturday, New York state reported 122,031 confirmed cases of COVID-19 from 302,280 tests.)But Newsom said that he had formed a task force of private and public leaders that, he promised, will turn this situation around. ?We are now in a position where I can confidently say it?s a new day,? Newsom said.Are we? Newsom declined to say when the new testing will kick in, and how many people will be able to be tested.He announced a new partnership with University of California campuses in Davis and San Diego to set up between five to seven testing hubs. The new task force will be led by Paul Markovich, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California, and Dr. Charity Dean, assistant director of the state Public Health Department. Plus, he said Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories had committed to setting up 75 testing sites throughout the state. (No date offered.)He also said researchers at Stanford University were close to getting approval for an antibody test that would tell not just whether someone has the virus, but also if they are immune. A spokeswoman for Stanford?s School of Medicine said one test is being performed as part of a study and another will be launched in its lab shortly.What keeps troubling me in all this is the lack of coordination with the most obvious actors who can drive positive change: technologists. As I wrote last week, countries like Taiwan have successfully leveraged alliances of government, technologists and entrepreneurs to control the pandemic.Also Read: Coronavirus Diary: Squeezed Slowly to Stop the PandemicHere?s one example of how Newsom is using technology: He announced that the state is launching a website, covid19supplies.ca.gov, to allow individuals and companies to donate, sell and offer to manufacture essential medical supplies, such as N95 masks and testing materials. Supply shortages have been blamed for inadequate testing in the state, while a lack of masks, gloves and gowns has left critical health care workers unprotected against the virus.But this is true for every category of fighting this virus, especially testing.We need to share information. We need to groupsource our problem-solving, and use the incredible technological prowess that lives in our own backyard. (For example: If we do get testing at scale, how can we ensure that the results are consolidated in a single database and shared with the public, so we can know in real time where the virus is most potent? The California health department?s website with paltry�county-by-county data is sadly rinky-dink, and a far cry from what our cutting edge technologists could produce with direction from our leadership.)You may ask: Why am I focused on California? Apart from being where I live and where the industry I cover is based, California has the chance to do what almost no other state can do: Act as a model for how to successfully respond to the coronavirus threat. California has the scale, the resources and should have the ambition. It may not have the tools of the federal government, which we all know by now that we cannot rely on to get us out of this mess. But it has a lot of levers to pull.I believe in California, I always have. Let?s leverage the deep competence in this state, solve it here, offer it elsewhere. And move us out of this purgatory of ignorance and fear.Read original story California Can Tackle the COVID-19 Testing Problem With Technology and Entrepreneurship At TheWrap
New York governor Andrew Cuomo and CNN primetime anchor Chris Cuomo continued their brotherly banter on air Monday night, ribbing each other over their mother’s favoritism and more.The silly “Cuomo Prime Time” segment, which has become a staple in the interviews about the older Cuomo’s management of New York’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, started off with the governor asking, “Where are you?”“I’m in the process of making a point, is where I am,” answered the anchor. (Editors Note: On Tuesday, Chris Cuomo announced he tested positive for coronavirus.)Also Read: NY Governor Andrew Cuomo Goes on CNN and Ribs Chris Cuomo Mercilessly: 'Mom Told Me I Had To' (Video)“I don’t recognize where you are. Where are you physically? Oh, you’re in your basement! You’re in your basement. I see,” laughed the governor.The younger Cuomo defended his choice to work from the basement, given the current requirements in New York that people stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. From there, he told a long story about some of what he’s done while homebound, including making a special sauce for his family from a recipe that the brothers’ mother passed on to him.“She taught me how to make the sauce. She didn’t teach anybody else,” gloated the younger brother.“You’ve always been good at manipulation,” mused Governor Cuomo. “You’ve always been the meatball of the family. Some of us have to work, right? I don’t have the luxury of working for one hour a day.”Also Read: CNN's Chris Cuomo Announces He Tested Positive for CoronavirusThe journalist defended his job, saying it is full-time, but admitted the governor has been putting in a lot of hours during the pandemic and is gaining a reputation for comforting people.To that end, the back-and-forth schtick might have been cloying or contrived from anyone else or during a different portion of American history, but viewers seemed as into it Monday night as ever.“I am so goddamn delighted every time the Cuomo brothers do an interview together – perhaps the only time I’m delighted!” enthused one Twitter user. “Chris Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo are now my favorite publicly feuding brothers. Sorry Oasis guys,” said another.Watch the brotherly exchange above.Read original story Andrew Cuomo Ribs Brother Chris On-Air: ‘You’ve Always Been the Meatball of the Family’ At TheWrap
President Donald Trump shared a shocking accusation on air against New York governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday that turned out to be a headline pulled straight from rightwing conspiracy site Gateway Pundit.Trump, who has publicly been at odds with Cuomo about the responsibility of the federal government during the coronavirus outbreak, appeared on Fox News during a two-hour town hall on the pandemic. During the telecast, Trump grabbed a piece of paper and rattled off the headline: “NY Gov. Cuomo Rejected Buying Recommended 16,000 Ventilators in 2015 for Pandemic, Established Death Panels and Lottery Instead.”Also Read: Trump Wants US 'Opened Up' by Easter -- Less Than 3 Weeks Away -- After Coronavirus ShutdownThat Gateway Pundit piece, published Sunday, relied on a Friday column by former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey. McCaughey’s post stated that in 2015, Cuomo “asked his health commissioner, Howard Zucker to assemble a task force and draft rules for rationing the ventilators they already had” instead of buying 16,000 new ventilators.” She then criticized Cuomo for other ways he allocated money in 2015, including the purchase of solar panels.There was no link between any possible ventilator purchases and the solar panels.“So, he had a chance to buy in 2015, 16,000 ventilators at a very low price and he turned it down. I’m not blaming him or anything else, but he shouldn’t be talking about us,” Trump said during the town hall.Dani Lever, Cuomo’s communications director, told TheWrap via email, “He obviously didn’t read the document he’s citing – this was a 5 year old advisory task force report, which never recommended the State procure ventilators – it merely referenced that New York wouldn’t be equipped with enough ventilators for a 1918 flu pandemic. No one is, including Mr. Trump.”Watch the moment below, via Media Matters For America’s Matthew Gertz:President Trump just read a Gateway Pundit headline during a live Fox News town hall on coronavirus as a way of sticking it to Gov. Cuomo. https://t.co/1HW7ReuSUY pic.twitter.com/GaGT3cUjUS— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) March 24, 2020Read original story Trump Repeats Unproven Gateway Pundit Conspiracy Theory About NY Governor Andrew Cuomo At TheWrap