Apr 22, 2020 - Health

Cuomo says Bloomberg volunteered to help develop "tracing army"

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 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.