New York State’s Coronavirus Test Has Been Approved by FDA; Testing Will Begin Immediately at Wadsworth Lab


Decision Came After Talks Between Governor Cuomo and Vice President Pence

Governor Cuomo: “We’ll start testing immediately here in New York, so we can handle more tests, more volume, turn them around faster, and we are ready to go and literally we can start testing immediately We have mobilized for emergencies before, and we’re going to do it again.”

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivered an update on the Coronavirus. New York State’s Coronavirus test has been approved by the FDA, and New York State will begin testing immediately at Wadsworth Lab.

VIDEO of the Governor’s remarks is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of the Governor’s remarks is available here.

A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is below:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Yeah President Trump put Vice President Pence in charge of a taskforce on the federal level. I spoke to the Vice President – obviously the State is working in coordination with the federal government. My concern was, in many ways the first step of this process, the step that we need to get right, we need to get right immediately is testing capacity. You want to be able to test people, you want to be able to get results quickly, and you want to be able to handle the volume of tests that we may be faced with.

The current system was we had to send every test to Washington to the CDC and then wait a couple days to get the test back, and CDC was having an issue dealing with the volume that they were getting from all across the country.

Here in New York we have the capacity to run our own tests, and we have the sophistication in terms of research facilities to run our own tests, so we had been asking CDC, “Let us run our own tests in New York.” It will take a burden off the CDC and it will get us answers faster. I spoke to the Vice President about that the other day. He said he’d look into it. CDC informed us today our test is approved, we can do our own testing. That is a big step forward.

We’ll start testing immediately here in New York, so we can handle more tests, more volume, turn them around faster, and we are ready to go and literally we can start testing immediately. And look, this whole issue with the Coronavirus – there are a number of trajectories, a number of forecasts with the Coronavirus. It’s like looking at the weather map when they have different tracks for a hurricane – hurricane could hit Florida, or could hit Washington or could hit New York or miss everybody and go out to sea. That’s sort of the forecast on the Coronavirus – it could be minimal, it could affect a lot of people. So, prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and that’s what we’re doing here in this State. We have mobilized for emergencies before, and we’re going to do it again.