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Andrew Cuomo partners with Rick Kriseman on St. Pete virus response

New York is sending testing supplies, PPE, ventilators and nursing staff.

New York is stepping in to help the city of St. Petersburg combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo partnered with St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman to open a temporary COVID-19 testing site in south St. Pete in one of the city’s hardest hit zip codes, 33712.

The new site, located on Pinellas Community Church south of 54th Ave. S. on 31st St., opened with help from New York including testing kits and PPE.

“It’s our pleasure to be of help,” Cuomo said during a Wednesday phone conference. “I asked at one point on one dark day,  I asked Americans to volunteer to come help us, we were overwhelmed in the hospitals.”

Cuomo said 30,000 doctors and nurses volunteered to help his state battle what was then the nation’s COVID-19 epicenter.

Now New York has stabilized its virus, though they are still not entirely in the clear.

“Whatever anyone needs we will be there,” Cuomo said. “I speak for all New Yorkers when I said that.”

New York is donating 3,800 test kits, 7,500 gloves, 7,500 gowns, 7,500 N95 Masks, 7,500 face shields, 124,000 surgical masks, 200 goggles and 1,250 gallons of hand sanitizer to St. Pete.

The state also donated 10 iPads to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and is sending 10 ventilators and an unspecified number of nursing staff.

Cuomo’s help comes after he offered to help the state, which Gov. Ron DeSantis largely denied.

Cuomo didn’t mention DeSantis directly, but the jab was implied.

“When the pressure is on that’s when the character comes to light,” he said. “We’ve seen people who were under pressure and they didn’t stand up, frankly.”

Now Cuomo is praising Kriseman, a fellow Democrat.

“You were right early on. You were right on the stay-at-home order. You were right on the intelligence of wearing masks,” he said.

The new testing site at Pinellas Community Church opened Wednesday morning. It will remain open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. through Saturday.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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