New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with President Donald Trump at the White House Wednesday morning to discuss infrastructure projects as well as the economic and medical impact of the coronavirus.
During a news conference following his meeting, Cuomo confirmed that he brought up the prospect of jump-starting infrastructure projects around New York City.
'It was not about politics. It was not about any of that. It was about what -- how do we supercharge the reopening, especially in New York, which has been hardest hit,' Cuomo told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, later adding that he had a 'good discussion' with the President.
'He understood what we were talking about. He understood what we need and he's going to be thinking about it, talk to his team. He said we'll talk next week,' Cuomo said.
The governor also said Trump's New York roots allow him to have 'the context' for understanding what the state would like to develop.
'I think the President also acknowledges and realizes that New York, we're very aggressive about getting these projects done and getting them done on time,' Cuomo said.
Cuomo also expressed frustration over Washington Republicans criticizing aid to some states hit hardest by coronavirus and at times referring to it as a 'blue state bailout.' But asked if state funding came up during his White House meeting, Cuomo said Trump was mainly focused on reopening the American economy.
Ahead of his scheduled meeting, Cuomo was spotted outside the White House Wednesday wearing a blue surgical mask and flanked by masked aides. Robert Mujica, the budget director for New York state, was among those accompanying the governor.
Cuomo had previously said that he wanted to discuss New York City infrastructure projects with Trump, specifically a new Penn Station, a train link to LaGuardia Airport, rebuilding train tunnels under the Hudson River and expanding the Second Avenue subway. He told reporters Wednesday that he did not discuss potential infrastructure projects in other parts of the state.
Wednesday's visit marked the third time Cuomo has met with Trump since he took office. The pair met in April to discuss coronavirus testing.
Cuomo and Trump have a history of publicly sparring, sometimes becoming combative earlier in the pandemic as New York requested coronavirus-related resources. But the governor said his April meeting about testing was productive and a 'very good conversation.'
Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters Wednesday morning that they were expecting to discuss the economic and medical impacts of coronavirus during the White House meeting. She also suggested Trump could bring up the topic of nursing homes, calling Cuomo's decision to send Covid patients to nursing homes 'a huge screw-up in New York.'
Cuomo did not say whether the nursing home topic came up during the meeting with Trump.
The meeting comes as New York state, the state hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, begins to phase into reopening.
On Tuesday, Cuomo said New York has reported its lowest daily death toll from Covid-19 since the pandemic began in the US. But in New York City, an epicenter for coronavirus infections in the US, Mayor Bill de Blasio said indicators remain mixed.
According to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the US, New York state has confirmed more than 363,000 coronavirus cases and more than 29,000 coronavirus deaths.
This story has been updated with Cuomo's remarks from his news conference.