Cuomo: Coronavirus caught CDC 'flat-footed'; health official admits testing 'glitch'

'The?CDC was?not ready when it started,' New York governor says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was caught "flat-footed" when responding to the coronavirus outbreak on "Sunday Morning Futures."

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"We knew this was coming," Cuomo said. "We were watching China. You'd have to be in denial if you didn't think what was happening in China was gonna happen here. The CDC was not ready when it started."

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Cuomo declared a state of emergency on Saturday as the state's number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 76, with 11 of them in New York City.

Cuomo is not the first state official to criticize the CDC's handling of testing for the virus.

Cuomo. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci tried to reassure Americans about the nation's testing capability on "Fox News Sunday."

"The fact is the tests are out there. There was a misstep early on … a technical difficulty," Fauci said. "About 1.1 million tests are out there now. There'll be an additional, about, 640,0000 on Monday and then at least another 4 million, particularly now that we're engaging the private sector."

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Cuomo also discussed partnering with the private sector but said the CDC hasn't approved such partnerships yet.

"The CDC has to allow private labs to come in, has to allow automated testing because we don't have testing capacity, period," Cuomo said.

This undated photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC’s laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. (CDC via AP)

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"They didn't approve New York labs to test for a period of time," Cuomo said. "It then even got larger, and now we don't have the ability to manage the flow in our state lab. We want to use private labs who can do automated testing, which exponentially increases the number of tests."

Major U.S. lab operator Quest Diagnostics Inc said on Thursday it would start a coronavirus test service this week.

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