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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has volunteered to develop a contact tracing program to help the tri-state area, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Cuomo has previously said contact tracing — tracking down people who have interacted with coronavirus patients — is a key component to the "phased reopening of the economy" when the outbreak is under control in New York.

  • But Cuomo also conceded that the state is far from where it needs to be in terms of its capacity to conduct contact tracing.

The big picture: The shortfall in contact tracing is nationwide, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens, and neither the federal government nor most state and local governments have concrete plans to drastically increase contact tracing.

  • A Johns Hopkins report estimates the U.S. would need to add about 100,000 new health care workers to get it up to speed.

What he's saying: Cuomo said he's spoken to the governors of Connecticut and New Jersey about plans to develop and train a "tracing army."

"Mayor Michael Bloomberg has volunteered to help us develop and implement the tracing program. ... As governor, I worked with Mayor Bloomberg. He has then developed an organization, he works with mayors all across the world, literally, in providing them guidance. 
"He has tremendous insight, both governmentally and from a private-sector business perspective in this. Remember, his company, Bloomberg, they went through the China closedown, open up. They went through the European closedown, open up. ... it is going to require a lot of attention, a lot of insight, a lot of experience and a lot of resources. 
"We're also going to be partnering with Johns Hopkins and vital strategies in putting together that tracing operation."
— Gov. Cuomo at a press briefing Wednesday

Go deeper

Updated Jul 31, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus testing still can't keep up with demand

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Testing is once again becoming a critical weakness in the America's response to the coronavirus pandemic, and experts say we may need to revive tighter standards about who can get a test.

Why it matters: Although testing has gotten a lot better over the course of the pandemic, the pandemic has gotten worse, and that means the U.S. needs to prioritize its resources — which might mean that frequent testing solely to help open businesses or schools just isn't feasible.

Jul 31, 2020 - Economy & Business

Health care industry tops list of most-favored amid coronavirus

Data: Harris Poll COVID19 Tracker Wave 20; Chart: Axios Visuals

Doctors, nurses and hospitals have experienced a greater increase in consumer trust and confidence than any other industry during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Axios/Harris poll.

Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. to mandate vaccines for anyone who crosses borders starting in January — Shots lagged data by months — The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort.
  2. Health: The Thanksgiving bouncers — Axios-Ipsos poll: Thanksgiving roulette — Experts criticize CDC's language on vaccine boosters — America's Thanksgiving gamble.
  3. Politics: Biden administration asks appeals court to reinstate vaccine mandate — Michigan recommends face masks for all residents amid surge.
  4. Education: A COVID strategy backfires at schools — Schools across the U.S. offer vaccine drivesBenefits of in-person school outweigh risks, study finds.
  5. World: EU drug regulator recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids — Italy announces new COVID restrictions for unvaccinated people — European health agency urges expanding booster shot access.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.