Gov. holds COVID-19 briefing following Wednesday meeting with President Trump

Posted at 9:51 AM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 18:04:56-04

BATON ROUGE, La. - Governor John Bel Edwards held a press briefing Thursday on Louisiana's response to COVID-19.

He expressed that his recent meeting with President Donald Trump and the Coronavirus Task Force went very well. The President praised Gov. Edwards' response to the state's coronavirus outbreak. Edwards met with Trump at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the COVID-19 disease. See more from their meeting: Gov Edwards meets with President Trump in D.C.

The White House closely monitored Louisiana, initially alarmed at by the spike in cases, but now a model for efficacy of testing. "They were watching Louisiana much more closely than I thought several weeks ago when we were reporting the cases that put us on the trajectory of case growth that exceeded anything else being experienced in the country," Edwards said. "And quite frankly, they were alarmed at what they saw and weren't quite sure that we were going to be successful in turning that around and flattening the curve especially in the New Orleans and Jefferson Parish areas. And the degree of knowledge they had about those regions, and the case growth, and the measures they were taking. I will tell you it demonstrated to me they were paying very, very close attention," Edwards said.

Test kits will start arriving next week and shipments will continue weekly, according to Edwards. The President and his Task Force have made a commitment to test 4.3% of Louisiana's population each month which will help allow the state to open up the economy.

Edwards and Dr. Billioux were both tested before meeting with the President and his team, both of them tested negative.

Today, the Stay-at-home order extension to May 15th was officially signed. Edwards said President Trump was not opposed to the extension.

Gov. Edwards said his team will soon have guidance on moving to Phase 1.

Some Republican state lawmakers were considering trying to override Edwards' emergency decision-making about the virus. Some GOP legislators - primarily in the House - are trying to rally support for a rare legal maneuver that would allow them to overturn possibly some or all of the governor's disaster orders and proclamations.

On the petition circulated by some GOP lawmakers to revoke the emergency declaration, The Governor says "Silly is not the right word. It would be profoundly regrettable." Also adds it is "irresponsible and nonsensical."

An emergency declaration is required before federal disaster programs can release money to states. Terminating the declaration also could jeopardize the $1.8 billion heading to Louisiana through the federal stimulus as well as small business loans.

There will be a flyover in Baton Rouge and New Orleans on Friday to honor health care workers. The flyovers will be at 9:30 am in New Orleans and at noon in Baton Rouge. The four plane formation will be in each city for 20 minutes and will fly slow and low for all to see while practicing social distancing, according to the Governor.

As of Thursday, April 30, there were 28,001 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Louisiana, with 1,862 deaths.

The Louisiana Department of Health updates their numbers each day at noon.

To see the latest from LDH, click here.

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