Gov. Cuomo says Bloomberg will fund a $10 million tri-state area contact tracing network with Johns Hopkins
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Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is getting back in the political arena after ending his presidential campaign last month.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that he’s tapping Bloomberg to spend $10 million of his own money to set up a coronavirus testing and contact tracing apparatus in the tri-state area around New York City in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University.
With tax revenue plummeting since non-essential businesses began closing and people started staying home, New York State is facing a budget deficit of at least $6 billion that Cuomo has said could easily end up exceeding $10 billion.
New York has already led the country in total COVID-19 tests administered, and is second in testing per-capita behind only Rhode Island.
Cuomo has been adamant that more widespread testing will give a more accurate measure of the coronavirus’ severity and will be the best indicator of when to reopen sectors of the economy.
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During the governor’s Wednesday morning daily coronavirus press briefing, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Michael Bloomberg will be stepping in to spend $10 million of his own money to form a COVID-19 testing and contact tracing network in conjunction with his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University.
The network will focus on the tri-state area — New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — surrounding New York City, Cuomo said.
Bloomberg will work with New York State and Hopkins to form what Cuomo described as an “army” of workers to go through the contacts of anyone who tests positive in addition to identifying and isolating those carrying the virus.
Like many states, New York is facing a budget calamity stemming from the pandemic.
Its current budget deficit of $6 billion could very well end up exceeding $10 billion, Cuomo and New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli have cautioned.
New York has already spent around $2.8 billion combatting the coronavirus, according to Budget Director Robert Mujica.
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