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Gov Edwards meets with President Trump in D.C.

Posted at 11:57 AM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 22:18:56-04

Governor John Bel Edwards was in Washington D.C. today, meeting with President Trump at the White House.

In the meeting, Edwards spoke with Trump and other advisers from The White House coronavirus task force.

"We've turned the corner, we're in a much much better place than we even thought possible," Edwards told the President. "We've had a lot of lessons to learn, because there's no blueprint for this. So we've had a steep learning curve, but we're in a much better place. The field medical stations you provided, the testing we had early was the key, and that has informed our testing strategy going forward."

Edwards thanked Trump for his work on the pandemic, and the assistance and support he's provided to Louisiana. The president said it has been an honor to work with Edwards and for the people of Louisiana, who he said are "great people."

"With the commitments we made this past Monday, they've committed to resourcing Louisiana's request for 200,000 tests per month. That gets us to 43 out of 1000 people tested every month, and we believe that's sufficient for us to move forward to reopen the economy," Edwards said. "That's why I wanted to come here and thank the President, because I believe this is the big piece that we've been looking for."

Meanwhile, back in Baton Rouge, some GOP lawmakers in the House are trying to undermine Edwards' stay-at-home order, the AP reports.

During the discussion, the President spoke about an almost instant test that was being used - and mentioned that Edwards had received the test prior to the meeting and was negative.

"He's OK," the President said with a smile. "So at least you got a test out of this."

Edwards said on the subject of tests that Louisiana was grateful for the federal government's assistance in ramping up tests in Louisiana.

"The best news we received was on Monday, when we were told that our plan had been received and the tests were going to be resourced," he said.

On Monday, federal officials told Edwards that they would be able to support Louisiana increasing to 200,000 tests per month.

Dr. Deborah Birx said what's critical is to develop a reliable testing protocol that finds asymptomatic people, especially those who work around vulnerable populations.

At his press conference on Tuesday, Edwards talked about Louisiana's plan to target testing for those people.

The task force spoke about how governors in states across the US are working to get to phase 1. Federal officials including President Trump said they were happy to see the work that governors are doing.

At the meeting, the White House task force answered questions from the gathered press in the room.

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